ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — As children fill their school backpacks with new crayons, markers and notebooks, Sen. Charles Schumer is urging federal officials to take immediate steps to protect kids from potentially harmful chemicals in their classroom supplies.

Schumer told reporters in a conference call Wednesday that reports from consumer advocacy groups have revealed toxic chemicals in common school supplies including crayons, markers, rulers, 3-ring binders, notebooks, glue and lunch boxes.

He called on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate the products mentioned in non-profit consumer group reports, alert the public, and recall items if necessary.

Schumer referred to a recent report from the non-profit U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. It found toxic chemicals in a variety of school supplies, including asbestos in crayons and benzene in dry-erase markers.

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