Have you ever noticed the crayons many restaurants provide to young children to play with during their meals? Do you wonder what happens to these crayons? Well, in many cases, they end up in landfills. In fact, according to some estimates, restaurants throw away as many as 150 million crayons every year – which is exactly what National Crayon Collection Month is trying to prevent.
Specifically, the goal of National Crayon Collection Month is to reduce the number of crayons thrown away in restaurants by collecting the ones used during the month of August and putting them in the hands of needy schoolchildren.
However, while the primary focus of National Crayon Collection Month is to prevent crayon waste in restaurants, that doesn’t mean you can’t add your own crayon donation to the pile. But, before you decide to donate your old crayons, you might want to make sure they are safe — particularly since some types of crayons may actually contain asbestos.
What? Crayons May Contain Asbestos?
Sadly, many crayons out there may still have asbestos in them, which is a dangerous material responsible for thousands of deaths each year.
Indeed, a report commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Action Fund, and released just two years ago, found asbestos in several crayons. Specifically, a private lab hired by the EWG Action Fund determined that four of the 28 boxes of crayons examined — roughly 14 percent — actually tested positive for asbestos.
The unfortunate reality is that many of these crayons — as well as other, older asbestos-containing crayons — may still be out there, which is why you need to be careful. We encourage you to review the EWG Action Fund report to see which crayon brands were found to have asbestos.