2 slime toys removed from shelves in Singapore after tests found excessive levels of boron

Magnetic Putty (right) and Dr Wacko's Mad Lab Colour Goo were found to have excessive levels of boron during sample tests conducted by Enterprise Singapore. Both products have been pulled off shelves here, said the agency.
Magnetic Putty (right) and Dr Wacko's Mad Lab Colour Goo were found to have excessive levels of boron during sample tests conducted by Enterprise Singapore. Both products have been pulled off shelves here, said the agency. PHOTOS: AMAZON

SINGAPORE - Two slime toys have been removed from shelves here, after they were found to contain unsafe levels of the chemical boron.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, regulatory agency for consumer goods safety Enterprise Singapore said the toys - Magnetic Putty and Dr Wacko's Mad Lab Colour Goo - were found to contain excessive levels of boron during sample tests.

The tests were conducted following concerns on malleable toys such as slime, magnetic putty and squishy toys in the United Kingdom in February, said Enterprise Singapore in a statement on Wednesday (July 18).

"We tested six samples of slime toys, six samples of magnetic putty toys and three samples of squishy toys out of which two - one slime toy and one magnetic putty toy - were found to be unsafe," the agency said.

"Specifically, the toys were found to exceed the permissible level of boron. The toys have since been removed from the shelves," it added.

Boron is a chemical ingredient added to slime toys to give it stickiness. Exposure to high levels of the chemical could lead to irritation, diarrhoea and vomiting, and, in the long run, birth defects and developmental delays.

So far, the agency has not received any reports of poisoning related to slime toys here, said Enterprise Singapore.

Magnetic Putty was pulled from shelves in Britain in January, after tests found that it contained seven times the legal limit of arsenic, according to the Daily Mail.

The authorities said that the product lacked details on the manufacturer or importer on the toy packaging, which suggests that safety assessments of the toy "may not have been made".

The toy, which comes in a metal case, contains a bag of slime and a small cube magnet.

On Tuesday, the BBC reported that consumer group Which? found that eight out of 11 popular slime products contained higher than recommended levels of boron during an investigation.

One product had more than four times the safety limit by the European Union, BBC said.

The eight toys were all purchased on e-commerce site Amazon, and have since been removed from the site, according to the report.

Checks on Wednesday by ST found that Magnetic Putty was still sold on Amazon, with shipping available to Singapore.

In its statement, Enterprise Singapore said consumers should buy slime toys from reputable brands and sellers, and check that safety requirements have been met if purchasing from online sources.

Parents should also check the age recommendations of the product, said the agency. "Slime toys may be accompanied with small accessories which can pose a choking hazard to your young child. Always read the label and give your child age appropriate toys," it said.

Consumers can also check if a safety alert has been issued related to the product, on Enterprise Singapore's website (www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/consumer-protection) or other international sites such as US Safer Products (www.saferproducts.gov).

Consumers can report product safety issues related to children's toys directly to Enterprise Singapore at 1800-773-3163 or consumerprotection@enterprisesg.gov.sg