New EPA Asbestos Risk Evaluation to Include Toys & Talc

January 3, 2022 | The Toy Association is alerting members of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new supplemental risk evaluation for asbestos that specifically includes toys. The evaluation also focuses on potential asbestos contamination in talc, as the two minerals may geologically be found in close proximity.

While toys would not be expected to contain intentionally added asbestos, talc has been and continues to be used in some children’s playthings, such as powder cosmetics or as a filler in plastics, modeling clay, and other materials. The original 2020 risk evaluation focused only on the chrysotile form of asbestos, and did not include potential contamination of talc.

“Although it is yet to be determined which uses trigger risk management measures in the risk evaluation, it is likely that contaminated talc in respirable forms will be included,” explained Alan Kaufman, senior vice president of technical affairs at The Toy Association “We are advising members whose products fit this category to consider alternatives to talc if they have not already done so.”

The EPA has opened a 45-day comment period on the draft scope to allow for the public to provide additional data or information that could be useful to EPA in preparing the final scope of the risk evaluation. Comments are due February 14, 2022 and may be submitted here.

Questions may be directed to The Toy Association’s Alan Kaufman. Toy Association members will be kept apprised of developments.