Health warnings over children's slime craze after investigation

Eight out of nine slime products brought online failed safety tests by consumer group Which?. Picture: Getty
Eight out of nine slime products brought online failed safety tests by consumer group Which?. Picture: Getty

It has become a huge craze among young children which has sparked millions of YouTube views and Instagram hashtags – as well as a trend to make your own DIY version at home.

Now a consumer organisation has raised concerns over the safety of some children’s slime products as an investigation revealed that many versions contain excessive levels of a potentially dangerous chemical.

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Consumer organisation Which? tested 11 popular slime products for boron – which can cause irritation, diarrhoea, vomiting and cramps, while exposure to very high levels of the chemical may also impair fertility and could cause harm to an unborn child in pregnant women.

The probe found that eight out of 11 toy slime products tested exceeded the EU safety limit of 300mg/kg.

The worst product, Toysmith Jupiter Juice, had more than four times the permitted level of boron. This was followed by CCINEE Pink Fluffy Slime, which contains 1000mg/kg, and Cosoro Dodolu Crystal Slime Magic Clay, which contains 980mg/kg.

All eight products that failed were purchased on Amazon. Just one product purchased from Amazon, Hulk Green Halloween Slime, met the standard, as did products from high street retailers, The Works and Smyths.

Some of the slimes Which? tested self-certified packaging with a CE mark, suggesting the product is safe, despite the fact that the boron levels were too high when they were tested.

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 have to do a far better job of getting anything identified as a risk off the shelves and out of people’s homes.”

The products which did not meet the standard have been removed from Amazon’s website.

Ms Stopford warned that parents should also be careful when producing homemade slime as some of the ingredients, such as some contact lens solutions, contain borax. Which? has passed its findings to the Office for Product Safety and Standards.