CSI Toy Tug of War; Rudy Giuliani Update

Behind The News
December 20, 2007 1:10:07 PM PST
Quite a public health tug of war going on tonight between health officials in Connecticut and a toy company headquartered in Manhattan that makes something called "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" Fingerprint Examination Kit. The toy was ordered pulled off the shelves in Connecticut because some tests came back that found the fingerprint dusting powder in the kit contains a type of asbestos -- tremolite, one of the most lethal forms of asbestos. Health experts say "a single exposure ... is sufficient to cause lung cancer later in life."

Certainly a dramatic story, especially this close to Christmas and especially given all the recent publicity about toys tainted by lead paint.

But now comes the company's response. Planet Toys says that a "leading asbestos testing laboratory in upstate New York concluded that there was NO (their caps) asbestos detected in any of our kits tests. Planet Toys is both proud and pleased to announce our findings in refuting" the asbestos claim.

So what's the truth? You'd think that if there were asbestos in a toy, the manufacturer would pull it. What happens when the company denies it? It's a fascinating dilemma, although as a parent I'd be hard-pressed to take a chance. And I suspect I'm not alone.

We'll have the latest on the asbestos test controversy, tonight at 11.

We're also following the health travails of Rudy Giuliani who was released from the hospital this afternoon. He was admitted last night after complaining of a severe headache and flu-like symptoms. He underwent a series of tests and today his wife pronounced him "in very good health."

And a Giuliani spokesman said that "all the tests were normal," and that the former Mayor is "heading back to New York this afternoon and he continues to be in high spirits."

The glaring omission, at least to me, was that there was no mention of Giuliani's resuming his campaign -- or when. We'll have the latest tonight at 11.

And we're sending Jen Maxfield to the Queens Center Mall, where many stores opened at 7 this morning for a shopping marathon that will last until Christmas Eve. Will it make a difference?

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Marvell Scott (in for Scott Clark) with the night's sports. I hope you can join us, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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