Parents concerned as high levels of chemicals in some slime toys exposed
- Credit: Archant
Parents and children’s club organisers in the Ipswich area have voiced concern over warnings that some toy slime products contain above recommended levels of a chemical.
Consumer organisation Which? found that some children’s slime products had higher than recommended levels of boron.
The consumer champion warned that excessive levels of the element - which can be used in eye drops, mild antiseptics and washing powders - can cause irritation, diarrhoea, vomiting and cramps.
It also said parents making homemade slime should be wary, after some reports have suggested that youngsters have sustained injuries after trying to replicate slime recipes found online.
However, organisers of slime-making sessions in Suffolk stressed that they use safe ingredients and guard against any risk to children.
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Mum-of-three Amanda Groom runs popular slime-making workshops at Wild Raspberry Art Station at Jimmy’s Farm, Wherstead, and stressed that they only use safe ingredients, including a saline solution for contact lenses which is very safe as it can be put in the eye.
“Some people use washing powders, but we don’t use anything like that because it’s going on your skin,” she said.
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“I do worry what goes into some of these shop products which are on the shelf. The most important thing with slime is not whether it works, although we have got it down to a tee, but keeping it safe.”
Heather Osborn, manager of the Cabin Crew club in Ipswich, said: “If children are having a reaction, it’s a worrying thing - this is not good.”
“Slime is very popular. Parents do buy the toys because it’s the fad for their children, and you assume it’s safe to use, but you don’t know what the ingredients are.”
She said children at the centre, in the grounds of Sidegate Primary School in Ipswich, made their own slime at the club’s supervised sessions, using safe ingredients.
Ms Osborn said, “Our children make their own slime here, so we ensure that they’re not using harmful ingredients. You have to be careful - there are some recipes online which use a lot of laundry ingredients.”
Another centre where slime-making sessions are due to be staged during the summer holidays is Quay Place in Ipswich.
Jon Neal, chairman of Suffolk Mind, which runs Quay Place, said their workshops were run by resident artist Bon Collins and only used safe ingredients. Mr Neal said: “As far as we are aware, everything is safe, but we are going to double-check and make sure there is nothing toxic.
“I have made slime with both my kids. I think it’s useful for an organisation like Which to bring out reports like this, but it can cause worry, because as consumers we all put our trust in products we use.”
Boron is found in borax, a common ingredient in slime that helps to create its “stickiness”. Under an EU directive, liquid or sticky toys should contain no more than 300mg/kg of boron.
However, Which? found that eight out of 11 toy slime products tested exceeded the limit. It said that Toysmith Jupiter Juice had more than four times the permitted level of boron with 1400mg/kg.
This was followed by CCINEE Pink Fluffy Slime, which was found to contain 1000mg/kg, and Cosoro Dodolu Crystal Slime Magic Clay, which was found to 980mg/kg, Which? added. All eight products that failed were purchased on Amazon.
One product purchased on the online marketplace, Hulk Green Halloween Slime, met the standard. The products which did not meet the standard have been removed from Amazon’s website.
Slime from high street retailers, The Works and Smyths, which were tested also met the standard.