How slime toys could make your children ill

A new investigation has revealed that 72% of toys had unsafe levels of boron

Slime has been a huge playground craze for the past year, with everyone from Holly Willoughby to Kate Garraway getting involved with making and buying slime toys with their children. However, new research has found that slime toys contain dangerous levels of a chemical that can not only make children unwell, but also potentially harm unborn children and affect fertility.

The toxin in question is boron, found in borax, which is a common ingredient found in slime and helps to create its sticky texture. The EU safe limit of the chemical is 300mg/kg, but a new investigation has found that eight out of 11 leading slime toys contained dangerous levels of boron.

A number of slime toys have been found to contain unsafe levels of boron

Which? tested 11 of the most popular toys from Amazon, The Works and Smyths, finding that eight of them - all on sale at Amazon - had unsafe levels of the toxin. The worst product, Toysmith Jupiter Juice, had more than four times the allowed level of boron, with 1,400mg/ kg. It has since been removed from sale.

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Exposure to high levels of the chemical can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and cramps. Others who have used boron – found in contact lens solution – to make their own slime at home have also suffered nasty burns to the skin while handling it. Meanwhile, long-term exposure to the chemical can cause harm to an unborn baby and infertility, according to the European Commission.

Toysmith Jupiter Juice contained four times the safe level of Boron

"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," Nikki Stopford, Director of Research and Publishing at Which?, said. "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."

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See the slimes tested and their boron levels below. All of the products which failed the tests have since been removed from sale by Amazon, while the products at The Works and Smyths were all revealed to be within the safety limit.

  • Toysmith Jupiter Juice (Pink) – 1,400mg/kg
  • Ccinee Fluffy Slime (Pink) – 1,000mg/kg
  • Cosoru Dodolu Crystal Slime Magic Clay (Pink) – 980mg/kg
  • Baker Ross Mini Bucket Putty (Green) – 930mg/kg
  • iBase Toy Slime Toy (Purple) – 860mg/kg
  • Loyo Fluffy Slime (Blue) 730mg/kg
  • Brezeh Free Slime Toy (Orange) – 560mg/kg
  • Virtuotrade My Fluffy Slime (Green) – 560mg/kg
  • HGL Goppy Slime (Green) – 280mg/kg
  • Planet Slime Shop Hulk Green Halloween Slime – 220mg/kg
  • Glam Goo Deluxe Pack – 75mg/kg
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