Junk Science Strikes Again!!

Just trhis morning, a Seattle newspaper reported that crayons contain asbestos! Horror of horrors! that our little tykes have been exposed to a known carcinogen, for generations!
From what I see, this looks like an extremely profitable venue for the litigators out there! Just think-you can sue onbehalf of MILLIONs of children! Every case of cancer from now until dooms day will now be blamed on childhood exposure to crayons!
Of course, the report does not mention:
(1) the quantity of asbestos is extremely small
(2) it is bound up with the wax, and cannot be inhaled
Facts never stood in the way of a good, profitable lawsuit!Bring it on!
Of course, remember the famous EPA report that showed beach sand to be a hazardous material (remember to wear your gloves and respirators to the beach!

Frankly, I’m suspicious of even the claim that crayons contain asbestos. Were they talking about ALL crayons, or just certain ones?

The report I heard implicated Crayola, Rose Art, and one other major crayon manufacturer. The asbestos supposedly came from the commercial talc used in the production process. If the report is true, I would be much more concerned for the health risk to the plant workers, who could inhale the talc, than for the kiddies.

Of course, we don’t have enough information at this point to make a good debate either way.

Is asbestos a carcinogen? I always thought asbestos was bad because it can cause asbestosis if inhaled, not because it caused cancer. Does it do both?

Here is an article with more information.


Asbestos is “linked” with a very specific type of lung cancer, mesothelioma.

How that happens is a mystery to me, though, since the mesothelium is the outer lung tissue, not the innards.

I’m not a medical expert, but I’m doing asbestos I can.

Mjollnir, you’re going to Hell for that pun!

If I am not mistaken, the problem with asbestos is that when it is friable, its particle are so small that they can get into the alveoli. These particles cannot be expelled as easily as larger particles and so stay in the lungs. The irritation makes it carcinogenic.

As far as I know, ingestion is not harmful. Besides, it takes a LOT of exposure to cause problems. Asbestosis cases usually involve people who work with it for a long time, such as naval ship workers.

The problem is that we have been trying so hard for so long to make the US so safe, that there just isn’t that much fodder left for investigative reporters, so they have to resort to this type of sensationalism.

Can’t you just see the herds of plaintiff attorneys ammassing on the horizon.

If there is anything worse than junk science, it is unwarranted attorney bashing where there is no evidence attorneys are even involved.

I knew all those crayons I ate or left sitting on the radiator would come back to haunt me. What next–Silly Putty causes brain tumors? :::cough cough:::

My post did not “bash” lawyers-I merely stated that if there is money to be made out of this (stupid issue of miniscule amounts of asbestos in crayons), then I’ll give you three guesses who will be making it!
I would remind “ESQ” that in the case of breast implants, enormous amounts of money were paid to litigators, with no scientific proof (correct me if I am wrong) that the implants were the cause of any health problems.
That is what I define as “junk science” in action, and for a lawyer to (knowingly) support a position (that he knows to be false) is junk law!

Quite right! Lets gather a sample of attorneys to experiment upon as soon as it is practical!

Mr.Zambezi wrote:

I, for one, am not gonna be the first one in line to try Kentucky Fried Asbestos.

Here’s a link to a GQ thread with some additional sources of information. I haven’t looked over at http://www.junkscience.com yet, but I’d bet they have a thread or two going on this topic as well.


The big buzz in teh insurance world right now is Carbonless Copy paper (CCP). Some nutty lady has a $10mm suit claiming that it causes everything from birth defects and chronic fatigue to death. I imagine that we will see some class action suits against crayola soon.

And it is most likely an uninsured loss. Don’t invest in Crayola.

Hey, we could call the suit the “Crayola Crapola Suit.”

“Unwarranted attorney bashing” is an oxymoron. :smiley: <ducks>

Dammit! This is the second thread in a row where I’ve wanted to drop in a good line but somebody beat me to it!

That’ll teach me to leave town for a few days…

Not atty bashing, DSQ, * plaintiff attorney bashing*. There is a difference.