Parents are being warned to approach the popular children’s product slime with caution after a study by consumer watchdogs found some contain higher levels of boron than is permitted by EU standards.
The tests by consumer group Which? found that 8 out of 11 slimes tested failed safety testing and some of the products had up to more than four times the safety limit.
According to Which? exposure to excessive levels of boron could cause irritation, diarrhoea, vomiting and cramps in the short term. Even more worryingly, studies of high levels of boron in animals have been linked to low birth weights, birth defects and developmental delays.
The EU states that exposure to very high levels of boron may impair fertility and may cause harm to the unborn child in pregnant women. Since the report, Amazon has removed all eight slimes from sale.
A spokesperson for Amaron said: “Amazon for comment, it said: “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.”
What were the products tested?
The permitted level for boron in all children’s toys is 300mg/kg.
Products that didn’t meet permitted EU standards:
• Toysmith Jupiter Juice contains 1,400mg/kg.
• CCINEE Pink Fluffy Slime contains 1,000mg/kg.
• Cosoro Dodolu contains Crystal Slime Magic Clay (Pink) 980mg/kg.
• Baker Ross Mini Bucket Putty (Green) contains 930mg/kg.
• iBase Toy Slime Toy (Purple) contains 860mg/kg.
• LOYO Fluffy Slime (Blue) contains 730mg/kg.
• Brezeh Brezeh Free Slime Toy (Orange) contains 560mg/kg.
• Virtuotrade My Fluffy Slime (Green) contains 560mg/kg.
Products that met permitted EU standards:
• HGL Goopy Slime (Green) contains 280mg/kg.
• Planet Slime Shop Hulk Green Halloween Slime contains 220mg/kg.
• Gmam Goo Glam Goo Deluxe Pack (Clear) contains 75mg/kg.
Nikki Stopford, director of research and publishing at Which?, said: “If you have school-age kids, you’re probably very well aware of the latest slime craze sweeping the playgrounds. Kids love it. Parents buying slime for their children should have peace of mind that these toys are safe, so they will be shocked to find that the health of their children could be put at risk by these slimes.
“There must be fundamental changes to the product safety system. Manufacturers must stop making unsafe products and the government and retailers simply have to do a far better job of getting anything identified as a risk off the shelves and out of people’s homes.”
Why use boron in slime?
Borax, which is a compound of boron gives slime its gelatinous texture. Borax and other derivatives of boron, such as boric acid are also used in other familiar products around the home, such as pesticides, face creams, contact lens solution, household cleaners and laundry detergent.
What if I’ve bought one of these slimes?
If you’ve bought or own one of the slimes with dangerous levels of boron, it counts as a faulty product as it’s in breach of safety regulations, and so you should be able to return the item to Amazon and get a full refund or replacement. This is whether it’s been opened or not.