Report cautions certain crayons contain asbestos

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Buyer beware when looking for crayons: a new report says the PlaySkool brand of crayons sold at places like Dollar Tree contains asbestos. And most stores in the Charleston, West Virginia area still have them on display.

Gray TV affiliate WSAZ checked stores in Kanawha City, Charleston's West Side, the Southridge shopping area, in South Charleston and at the Nitro shopping plaza near Walmart. All but one had these crayons for sale.

The new "Safer School Supplies Shopping Guide" from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group says these PlaySkool crayons sold at Dollar Tree stores contain "trace amounts of asbestos," which the agency says can cause lung cancer and other health problems if it gets into your child's body. The group says they specifically studied the green crayon, pointing out under a microscope what they say are the asbestos fibers.

"Yes it's very concerning. You know I don't want my grandson to have them," said Mike Ferrell.

Ferrell says his grandson plays with this brand of crayons, but not anymore.

"We like to save money but it's not worth saving money if you're going to have something dangerous for your grandkids," he said.

"But there's a saying that you get what you pay for and so things that you may buy that are inexpensive, you know, may have some harmful things," cautioned Rhonda Grace.

Grace says she has three kids, and prefers well-known brand names before even looking at the price.

Dollar Tree said it is aware of the latest findings on these PlaySkool crayons. The company's website says stores carry "many trusted national and regional brands," adding "we care about our customers and their families, especially when it comes to safety."

The company said right now they are not pulling the brand from stores.

The only place WSAZ looked that did not have these crayons was the store on the West Side of Charleston. That does not mean the store pulled them; they could have just all been sold out.

The same brand of crayons is for sale currently online at Amazon, Walmart and Dollar General.

Click here to see the full report.