Slime - Warning Of Toxic Levels of Chemicals

By July 31, 2018

New, reports suggest that slime-based toys could be causing more harm than good, containing high levels of a chemical linked to convulsions, diarrhoea and impaired fertility.

Why Is It Dangerous?

A warning has been issued that a large number of children’s slime-based toys could contain more than four times the recommended safety limit of a chemical called Boron.

It's been advised “approach slime with caution” and parents urged to be wary of homemade alternatives too, as some of they often call for borax, made up of Boron, which is often used as a cleaning product and has been linked to causing serious burns in children.

Dangers Of Borax

Borax is often recommended as a "safe" pesticide, fungicide and cleaner, but it is officially classified as a poison. Government sites recommend that people who work with Borax use gloves and handle it with caution. Studies have linked it to reproductive problems in some lab animals, as well as a host of serious disorders at higher levels.

Boric acid is an acute eye and respiratory tract irritant, which is quite toxic if ingested. In addition, it is unavailable in parts of Europe because of concerns that it caused birth defects and problems with the reproductive organs of children. It is recommended that pregnant women and children, in particular, do not have exposure to Borax.

Borax is highly alkaline, which is why it’s a great household cleaner and laundry detergent booster. But it’s also a known eye, nose and respiratory tract irritant. In fact, the labels on boxes of Borax clearly state to keep it out of reach of children.

Last year, Health Canada issued an advisory urging Canadians to avoid homemade craft and pesticide recipes using any form of boric acid, including borax.

A Massachusetts girl received third-degree, blistering burns to her hands after making homemade slime at a friend’s sleepover party. Kathleen Quinn’s mother said her daughter had made slime many times before without any problems but may have received the burns after prolonged exposure to the compound.

Are There Any Safe Alternatives?

While the conventional Borax-based recipes are best to be avoided, there are natural slimes that can be made, though the texture will be notably different.

For example, you can find a number of different recipes for safe homemade slimes using cornstarch, chia seeds and gelatin, metamucil etc.

Each is distinct in colour and texture but all are free from toxic chemicals and some are even edible.

References:
Petter, Olivia "What Is Slime and Is It Dangerous", Independant UK, 17th July 2018
"Parents Warned Over Toxic Slime", Health, BBC News, 17th July 2018
Ross McLaughlin "Why homemade 'slime' could be dangerous for kids", CTV News, 7th April 2017

Last modified on Tuesday, 31 July 2018 14:20