They’re soft, they’re squishy and they smell like delicious snacks. What’s not to love about the ‘Squishies’ toy range?
The fact that they have been found to contain harmful chemicals, for one.
That’s right mums. You may have an excuse to stop buying Squishies after reading this. The popular kids’ toys have recently come under the microscope after the Danish government banned them.
Why are Squishies banned?
A Danish government investigation found the toy emitted harmful chemicals, including dimethylformamide, styrene and toluene. These chemicals may cause cancer, liver damage, skin irritation and impact fertility down the road. EEK!
The investigation included 12 different Squishies toys from 12 different retailers, all of which failed the tests.
“When all twelve toys contain high amounts of harmful substances, alarm bells begin to go off,” says Danish Minister for Environment and Food Jakob Ellemann-Jensen.
“This indicates that there may be an overall problem with all squishies on the market.”
But what about Australia?
I will be the first to put my hand up and admit my kids love these foam-like stress-balls. Sold at popular retail outlets like Big W, Kmart, Target and Smiggle, they come in an assortment of shapes, sizes and designs.
To a kid, they are a ball full of delicious fun. But will this new investigation be the end of the Squishies revolution?
At this stage there is no formal warning or recalls issued in Australia. The ACCC told Mum Central,
The ACCC has not received any reports of incidents resulting from these products.”
According to The New Daily, Australian retailers including Smiggle and Kmart will continue to sell the popular products, for the time being.
Buyer beware: Squishies toy ban
But Jakob Ellemann-Jensen urges parents to think twice before adding to your children’s Squishies collection.
“The toy industry is responsible for ensuring that the products they sell are legal and do not contain harmful chemicals,” he says, in the notice.
“In this case, we’re talking about serious violations, where children breathe in substances that may cause mucous membrane irritation and which may, in the long term, be harmful for fertility and cause liver damage.”
University of Technology Sydney’s Environmental and Hazardous Chemicals expert Rachael Wakefield-Rann adds that products are allowed on the Australian market before all of their chemical ingredients are tested for long-term health effects.