Aqua Dots RECALL

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by Stacey

Sorry to be late on this story. On Wednesday the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled 4.2 million Aqua Dots, distrubuted by Spin Master of Toronto, Canada. According to this article in the NY Times, if ingested the beads release a chemical related to GBH, otherwise known as the banned date rape drug.

The toy is made in Australia where it is called Bindeez. The problem was discovered when a 2-year-old boy was taken to a suburban Sydney hospital on Oct. 5 in a shallow coma and suffering from seizurelike spasms, the article says. It took doctors four weeks to figure out what caused his condition. When it was learned that the boy had vomited the beads before he fell into a coma, the beads were sent to a lab for testing.

What they found was “an obscure industrial chemical used to prevent water-soluble glues from becoming sticky before they are needed. But when ingested, the chemical quickly breaks down to become GHB. The United States tightly restricts the chemical’s sale and places GHB in the same category as heroin.”

Soon after another girl who was ten years old, was found in the same condition as the boy. She too, had vomited the beads before falling into a coma.

On Wednesday, Dr. Carpenter [the doctor who found the chemical in the beads] said safety regulators should look beyond Bindeez to conduct laboratory tests on all similar craft toys. These toys, sold under brand names including Aqua Dots and Aqua Beads, contain packets of brightly colored beads that children arrange into mosaics, then sprinkle with water; the beads then stick together in as little as 10 minutes to form durable artworks.

Okay, so obviously our kids are not supposed to be eating the beads. It would be nice if the beads they did manage to eat were not toxic. Sure do miss the good old days when a kid swallowed a marble and all a parent had to do was wait for it to come out the other side.

For more information on what to do if you have this toy go the company’s Web site or call Spin Master at (800) 622-8339 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.

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7 Comments

Filed under children's health, drugs, family, kids, parenting, safety, toxic toys, toy recall

7 responses to “Aqua Dots RECALL

  1. sweetslugabed

    Yikes! All these recalls are making me so nervous about toys. My kids love playing with beads, but I’ve started throwing away anything I find around the house with beads. The kids don’t seem to have noticed that their play necklaces have disappeared. And anything that looks at all like candy. Soli’s past the stage where she puts everything in her mouth, but she’s nuts for candy.

  2. Yep, me too. Sascha is really into putting everything into his mouth and I spend the whole day cringing. I think a big clean out is coming.

  3. Wasn’t there (yet) another China angle here? And how long can it be before we find out that a certain doll releases exploding shrapnel when it gets wet? You sort of wonder where this is going. From now on I’m making all of Sascha’s toys from items we find in our yard. This weekend I’m building a toy house from the butterfly bush.

  4. sweetslugabed

    Zelia’s teacher gave her a little plastic horse with long purple hair for her birthday. It comes with little plastic shoes, a tiny plastic bottle, a tiny plastic barette, and a brush for the hair. Zelia loves brushing the hair, so I think I’ll let her keep the brush–and the horse. But the shoes, barette, and bottle are all going in the trash.

    By the way, do you understand how or whether plastic toys can have lead paint? Ramon and I were trying to figure it out, as most plastic does not have paint on it that can scratch off — it seems the plastic itself is a color.

  5. Some of our toys are colored plastic with some painted-on features. Have Ramon chew on it to test, and if he gets sick… there’s your answer.

  6. i’ve wondered about this too. chris is right, some of our plastic toys have obvious paint on them. i guess that’s what we have to worry about. the ones that are just colored plastic make me think about phalates and other chemicals leaching from the plastic. at this point, i’d rather sascha sit around chewing on sticks from the garden than anything man-made in our house. it’s kind of a nightmare.

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