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Real-Life CSI for Wyomingites: Toys Poisoned with Asbestos

July 20, 2009

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming parents are being encouraged to do some detective work and check their homes for toys marketed under the name of the "CSI" television series. Two children's detective kits have been found to be contaminated with asbestos. The toy manufacturer, Planet Toys, has settled a lawsuit that entitles families to a refund.

Victoria Ni with Public Justice says her organization filed a class-action lawsuit when testing showed tremolite, a type of asbestos, was in the toys.

"All forms of asbestos are dangerous, but tremolite is one of the deadliest forms."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists exposure to asbestos as a cause of lung damage and cancer. Ni says asbestos has been confirmed in the fingerprint powder in the "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Fingerprint Examination Kit" and the "CSI Crime Scene Investigation Forensic Lab Kit." The toy manufacturer denies that asbestos was in the kits, and has settled the lawsuit without admitting any wrongdoing.

The toys were sold in Wyoming by Toys "R" Us, Walgreens and Kmart, and through online shopping sites such as Amazon.com and Buy.com. Ni says while getting the toys out of childrens' hands is the number one priority, parents also should realize they have a right to a refund.

"Your claims form has to be received by the claims administrator by Jan. 14, 2010. You have about six months to get the paperwork in."

Parents can learn how to safely dispose of the toys and get refunds at www.csitoyssettlement.com.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY