Posted on August 13, 2015

PRESS RELEASE: Restaurants Urged to Pledge “Asbestos-Free Crayons”

Playing with crayons at a restaurant should not be a harmful activity for children and families. 

NRA Crayons CANVAOn Wednesday, the Environmental Working Group Action Fund and the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) wrote a letter to Ms. Dawn Sweeny, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association urging the Association “to encourage its members to pledge to use only asbestos-free crayons”.  During the third independent product testing investigation since 2000, it was reported that various children’s’ products and toys including crayons still contain asbestos.  The 2015 investigation commissioned by the EWG Action Fund “tests found asbestos in four of the 28 boxes of crayons tested, several marketed under the names of popular fantasy characters Mickey Mouse, Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Two of the 21 crime scene fingerprint kits were tainted with asbestos.”

The crayons tested and confirmed to contain asbestos are manufactured in China and imported to the U.S., where they are easily and inexpensively put into the hands of children across the nation.

“We hope those restaurants that provide crayons to their youngest patrons take the pledge,” said Alex Formuzis “and hand out only items that don’t contain this dangerous carcinogen” 

We urge all restaurants to take the asbestos-free crayon pledge comes on the heels of EWG Action Fund-commissioned tests that found asbestos in some brands of crayons. As many restaurants provide free crayons to entertain young children at meals, we are deeply concerned by the possibility of these children being handed seemingly harmless yet carcinogenic crayons.  A family outing to their favorite restaurant should be a fun experience where youngsters and their parents can enjoy themselves without being unwittingly exposed to asbestos.  Please help to share our letter to the National Restaurant Association in hope to get asbestos-contaminated crayons taken off the table.