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Asbestos in Toys & Make-up


With the recent awareness around certain items containing asbestos, Asbestos Removals Marlborough investigates the steps you can do this Christmas to protect your family against possible exposure. Plus; why are these products able to enter asbestos-banned countries.


It seems regardless of the rules and regulations of importing asbestos-containing products into New Zealand and Australia – the borders are being breached by this toxic material. As the world is now very aware of the dangers concerning this substance, its mining and usage have dramatically reduced over the past 20years. However, in many countries, that we rely heavily on for goods and products, asbestos is still used, and not regulated as much as we would expect.


This has led to an increase in asbestos-contaminated products entering our border and onto our shelves.


Asbestos importation was banned in New Zealand in 2016 and Australia back in 2016. However, it is still widely used in many countries, including Asia. Meaning the mega-giant in designing and producing items such as toys, make-up and other products, are still legally allowed to use this toxic substance in their development. This is now becoming a big headache for many border control government agencies around the globe, as they fight to control the importation of this fibre.


In Australia back in March 2021 asbestos was found to be in building materials imported from overseas. This sent shockwaves around the industry and concern on how much asbestos was making it across the border and into our homes. The concern is, if it is happening in Australia, it’s more than likely occurring in NZ.


In Australia alone, asbestos has been discovered in shipments coming from overseas, including building materials, toys, billiard table irons, gaskets for engines, and even in Sydney’s brand-new Ferries.


The cheaper the product – the cheaper it was made and the place it was made can be a signal that it could contain asbestos. As we all search for the latest and greatest products at a much smaller price, consumers must be aware of the dangers. It’s advised that people shop carefully and do their research before purchasing cheap products from unknown trusted brands.


We Are Not the Only Ones


In the USA they are experiencing the same issue when it comes to asbestos being detected in products. More concerningly is the number of toys this deadly fibre has been discovered in over the past few years. From toy cars to crayons, chalk, and even children’s crime scene kits. While it’s widely known that many products containing talc could be directly contaminated with asbestos.


Asbestos is still contained in many products that are made overseas. From industry-related materials and machinery to toys and highly consumable products on the open market such as make-up. Sadly, the border controls in many countries are simply not able to check every container and check for asbestos. Leaving the control, in many aspects, to come down to the consumer.


Top Tips – Shopping

  • Only purchase from reputable shops and online stores.

  • Check where your products are made.

  • Do your research on brands who are facing lawsuits regarding asbestos contamination in their products.

  • Know what products are more likely to contain asbestos.

  • Support locally made products.


There are many people – particularly in the USA who are seeking compensation from some very reputable brands due to asbestos exposure. Even though many think that this toxic fibre is no longer an issue, sadly it is. Many countries overseas are still not taking a stand on a full ban on asbestos usage, as companies look for cheaper options to produce their products, contamination will only increase. As a consumer it is highly advisable to do your research and support products that are made closer to home.


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