Monday, July 16, 2018

Squishies Giving Off Dangerous Chemicals

Are your kids into squishies?    I have seen them everywhere - especially hanging from kids backpacks all around
town.  Fact is, squishies are a thing- a big thing.  These soft colorful toys made from memory foam, have gained
popularity world wide- so much so that New York Magazine called them “ the next fidget spinners”. The toys have
captivated the attention of kids everywhere, especially 5-12 year olds, who either collect them or, basically, just
squish them (kind of like a stress ball). Squishies are available in larger sizes and key chain size and just about
everywhere from Target to Walmart to your local toy store and of course all over the internet.

This summer, authorities in Denmark ( their local EPA) decided to test the toys after noticing the chemical and fragrant smell they emitted.  The testing found that:

  • All tested squishies emitted high concentrations of dimethylformamide (DMF), which causes risk of liver damage and  irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract in children;
  • All tested squishies delivered high concentrations of the mucosal irritants triethylenediamine and bis(2-dimethylamino)ethyl ether;
  • Two tested squishies delivered xylenes at levels that pose a risk of injury to the nervous system; and
  • one released the carcinogen methylene chloride, at a concentration that poses risk.
What to do if your kids love their squishies?
After the Denmark findings were published, the EU called for safety testing of the toys, however it is somewhat unlikely that the EPA here in the US will  be testing or recalling these toys anytime soon, so it is up to you to decide what to do.

It might upset your kids but it would be best to throw those squishies away and avoid bringing them home in the first place - brand new squishies will give off the highest level of the chemicals of concern. 

Even older squishies that don’t seem to smell as much will continue to release harmful chemicals

NY Magazine had it right squishies are the next fidget spinners... not only because of their popularity but because of the fact that both toys can expose our children to harmful chemicals ( some fidget spinners were found to contain lead) .

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