Asbestos in Toys

A 2007 Seattle P-I article explained that one of that year’s “biggest-selling Christmas toys” was found to contain asbestos. The CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit was found to contain traces of this carcinogen, the news source explains. According to the article, that fingerprint kit was a “huge seller,” meaning countless children could have been put at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease later in life.

This Chinese-made kit was just one of several other products licensed by CBS that is based on the popular “CSI” crime series, the Seattle P-I reports. The news source also explains that the science set had “an extensive array of plastic tools, inks and three types of very fine powders — white, black and glow-in-the-dark.” After analysis, the site reports that “high levels of two types of asbestos” tainted the white and glow powders.

Unfortunately, asbestos poses the greatest risk when in a tiny particulate state, which allows it to become airborne and easily enter the body. According to the Seattle P-I, physicians pointed out that this toy’s powder poses a significant chance of being inhaled by children as they “hunt for fingerprints and use a soft-bristled brush to move the powder around.”

Although the manufacturer of the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit, Planet Toys Inc., claimed their product met all agency and legislation standards, a 2009 Reuters news update explained the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. According to Reuters, the company’s bankruptcy petition indicated “assets in the range of $1 million to $10 million and liabilities in the range of $10 million to $50 million.” The article from Reuters explains that “Under Chapter 7, a bankrupt company typically liquidates and does not reorganize itself.”


Reuters Staff Writer. (March 19, 2009) “Planet Toys files bankruptcy after asbestos suits.” Retrieved on April 28, 2011 from Reuters.

Schneider, Andrew. (November 27, 2007) “Asbestos turns up in toys, children’s clay.” Retrieved on April 28, 2011 from