SCHOOL SUPPLIES | ASBESTOS


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Recent lab results found traces of asbestos, lead, benzene, and other dangerous chemicals in popular American school supplies. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund tested classroom materials and found toxins in some crayons, markers and binders.

Among the school-related products that tested positive for toxic substances included Hasbro’s Playskool crayons sold at Dollar Tree, which had traces of asbestos, EXPO dry erase markers and Amazon and Mattel’s Board Dudes markers, both of which had traces of BTEX—four chemicals linked to liver, kidney and immune system damage, including benzene, a known carcinogen.

Another Dollar Tree product, the Jot 1-inch three-ring binder, tested positive for traces of phthalates, toxic chemicals used to soften plastics which can cause health issues for children, including issues with development, asthma and childhood obesity.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati Product Liability Attorney and Ohio Toxic Tort Lawyer investigating dangerous products and toxic school supply injury lawsuits for plaintiffs nationwide.


Identifying Toxic School Supplies


The United States Public Interest Research Group Education Fund had an independent laboratory test 27 back-to-school products, and reported that four tested positive for dangerous chemicals, including more than one cancer-causing toxin.

The organization said in the wake of the report that the presence of toxic hazards in school supplies “highlights the need for constant vigilance on the part of government agencies and the public.”

Product liability lawsuits are likely to be filed against the manufacturers of unsafe products to ensure the companies adhere to safety standards in the future. Victims of such unsafe products may have a case against a liable manufacturer or distributor.


The safety advocate group urged the Consumer Product Safety Commission to test more school supplies for dangerous chemicals. The independent lab has already tested crayons, markers, binders, water bottles, lunchboxes, notebooks, rulers and glue. Some school products contained the following:

  • Asbestos—at least one Playskool crayon tested positive for tremolite, a form of asbestos. Tremolite is responsible for asbestos-related cancer and asbestos diseases, according to medical studies. Other crayons sold under five other brands like Crayola, Up & Up, Cra-Z-Art, Disney Junior Mickey and the Roadster Racers, and RoseArt tested negative for toxins.
  • Benzene—four dry-erase markers were sent to the lab, and two tested positive for a group of dangerous compounds known as B.T.E.X.: benzene, toluenexylene, and ethylbenzene. Benzene is a known carcinogen and was found in The Board Dudes markers, made by Mattel. Benzene does damage to normal functioning cells, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and long-term exposure may lead to blood cancers. Expo dry-erase scented marker also tested positive for B.T.E.X. compounds.
  • Phthalates—a Jot-brand three-ring binder from Dollar Tree tested positive for phthalates, a group of chemicals added to plastics but may affect human reproduction or development.
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Many experience asbestos exposure through the workplace. Workplaces may have been filled with toxic materials, and employers may have failed to warn of the serious health risks of the job. Filing a suit helps to raise the awareness of job safety.

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Questions about Asbestos

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was first utilized in the early 1900s for its insulating abilities, fireproof properties, and versatility. It has been estimated that over 30 million tons of asbestos was used in the American economy in industrial yards, homes, schools, shipyards, and other workplaces.

The natural breakdown of asbestos products and subsequent sawing or cutting of the asbestos creates dust and fibers that are inhaled and can lead to mesothelioma and other severe forms of lung cancer.

Why is Asbestos Toxic?

When asbestos breaks down over time or with use, the fibers of the material can become airborne, presenting a risk of inhaling or ingesting the toxin. Asbestos is a cancer-causing agent, and those heavily exposed can develop scarring in the lungs and later develop lug cancer and mesothelioma.

What Materials Contain Asbestos?

Asbestos was widely used in piping, insulation, electrical components, machine parts, packaging, flooring, ceiling tiles, roofing, and in many building materials.

Can I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

If you were exposed to asbestos at your workplace, and have developed cancer or a related illness, you are likely to qualify for compensation.

Why Did Companies Use Asbestos?

Asbestos was cheap, durable, fire-resistant and light, and was though to be the perfect insulating material before research showed it was extremely hazardous tot he health.

Is it hard to win an asbestos case?

The success rates of settlements regarding asbestos exposure injury are quite high. It may be necessary to prove that occupational exposure is the primary cause of lung cancer or mesothelioma, though this is the job of The Lyon Firm, and we have experience in reaching large mesothelioma settlements.

Where are known asbestos expsoure sites?
Why Hire the Lyon Firm

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Asbestos Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Asbestos lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence cases.  The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world 

Your Right to Safety

Watch our Video About
the Statute of Limitations for Asbestos

Asbestos can be found in homes built before 1980, construction sites, and in many military circumstances. According to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOHS), there are 75 different jobs that can expose workers to asbestos, with those jobs primarily involving construction and manufacturing. Approximately 107,000 workers are affected by asbestos each year. 

Mesothelioma is a serious illness that has been linked to asbestos exposure in medical literature. It is estimated that there will be 250,000 new cases before 2020 due to the latency period of 20-50 years after being first exposed to asbestos.

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