Dangerous slime may sound like the plot of a cheesy 1950s horror B movie, but if you’ve got a primary school-aged child or grandchild, you may be aware of the craze for toy slime – and its potential dangers.
We’ve tested toy slimes for the second time this year, and again we’ve found alarming safety issues.
We’ve passed our findings on to all the manufacturers with available contact details, and the retailers we bought the products from, asking for the slimes we tested that exceeded boron limits to be removed from sale.
Nikki Stopford, our director of research and publishing, said:
Slime will feature in many kids’ letters to Santa this Christmas, however we’ve found more worrying evidence that children could be put at risk by these toys.
Parents should have confidence that the products that they buy for their children will be safe, but our latest investigation has uncovered harmful products being sold even by big retailers.
Again, we’re calling on manufacturers to stop making unsafe products, and for the government and retailers to step up and do a much better job of ensuring only safe products get into people’s homes and into the hands of children.
What’s wrong with boron? (17/07/2018)
Often available in multi-packs and in a host of lurid colours, you can also make slime yourself at home using household products such as contact lens solution and PVA glue.
However, we’ve carried out testing on 11 brands of toy slime and discovered that eight of them have levels of boron that are above the safety limits permitted by EU standards.
Boron is a chemical element that gives slime its gooey texture. Exposure to excessive levels of boron has been linked to skin irritation, diarrhoea, vomiting and cramps in the short term, and harm to the unborn child of pregnant women in the long term.
It’s why the EU safety standards state that toy slimes should have boron levels that fall below 300mg/kg.
The worst slime we tested had more than four times the permitted level of boron.
Removed from sale
Of the 11 brands we tested that exceeded the safe limits of boron, eight of them were bought from sellers on online retailer Amazon.
Of the three slimes which fell below the EU safety standard, two were bought from high streets shops – Smyths and The Works – and one from Amazon.
When we approached Amazon for comment, it told us:
“All Marketplace sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who don’t will be subject to action including potential removal of their account. The products in question are no longer available”
Are you worried about the safety of these products? And do you think retailers are doing enough to prevent unsafe products from getting onto shelves in the first place? Let us know your thoughts.