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Asbestos and other toxins found in school supplies

School is back in session for the new year in Georgia which means kids are using all sorts of school supplies every day in and out of the classroom. Are their crayons and binders actually safe for a child's health? A recent study indicates that in some cases, no.

The United State Public Interest Research Group runs an annual study testing the safety of various school supplies leading up to the new year. The report for 2018-2019 found a variety of potentially hazardous products containing benzene, lead and even asbestos from various retailers.

What to watch for

Four products out of 27 tested returned results for potentially hazardous materials. A box of crayons from the brand Playskool sold at Dollar Tree tested positive for asbestos. Asbestos exposure can lead to lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Another Dollar Tree product, a three-ring binder from the brand Jot, tested positive for phthalates. Exposure to these chemicals can contribute to asthma and childhood obesity according to the study. Additionally, two brands of markers tested positive for phthalates and benzene respectively. Benzene exposure can contribute to a number of health issues ranging from liver and kidney damage to leukemia.

The levels of chemical presence found in the school supplies may not mandate a government-issue recall, but scientists recommend limiting a child's exposure to all of the chemicals found in the study.

Severity of asbestos and other toxins

Exposure to toxic chemicals can have life-altering, devastating impacts on those affected. Asbestos exposure in particular has a direct link to a variety of illnesses including mesothelioma and lung cancer. Many people think of building materials and dangerous jobs when it comes to asbestos exposure, but the unfortunate reality is that even children using crayons may be at risk of exposure to toxic chemicals.

Medical treatment for asbestos-related illnesses can create an undue financial and emotional burden for those affected. Seek legal and medical assistance if you or a loved one battle with these illnesses. Try to take the precautions with kids heading back to school and read the labels for the products they use. It may make all the difference down the line in avoiding unnecessary suffering from exposure to these chemicals.

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