Sticky, gloopy and with something of an ick factor, it’s the playground fad that has entertained children for decades.
But brightly-coloured ‘slime’ may be harmful to their health.
Consumer watchdog Which? has found some slime products contain potentially unsafe levels of the chemical boron, which in excessive levels causes short-term bouts of diarrhoea, vomiting and cramps.
Boron is found in the compound borax, which is used to make slime thick and sticky.
However the European Chemicals Agency warns boron may damage fertility and cause serious eye irritation – and could cause harm to unborn children if pregnant women come into contact with it. Researchers tested the most popular slimes sold by major retailers and those recommended to children online.
Some slime products contain potentially unsafe levels of the chemical boron, which in excessive levels causes short-term bouts of diarrhoea, vomiting and cramps
They found eight out of the 11 tested exceeded the EU safety limit for boron of 300mg per kg. Some were more than four times over the limit.
Nikki Stopford, director of research and publishing at Which?, said: ‘Parents buying slime for their children … will be shocked to find that the health of their children could be put at risk.’
Home-made slimes have previously raised concerns over borax, with reports that children have suffered injuries after trying to copy slime recipes found online. But Which? is now calling for ‘fundamental changes’ to the product safety system after its tests.
The worst slime tested was pink Toysmith Jupiter Juice, which had more than four times the permitted level of boron at 1,400mg/kg.
This was followed by CCINEE Pink Fluffy Slime, with 1,000mg/kg, and pink Cosoro Dodolu Crystal Slime Magic Clay, which contained 980mg/kg. All of the slimes exceeding the limit were available on Amazon.
Amazon said they have now been removed, but Which? is advising parents to approach all slime with caution, as many have minimal information on their labels. Some of the tested slimes also self-certified with a CE mark, suggesting the product is safe.
It has passed the findings to the Office for Product Safety and Standards.
Researchers tested the most popular slimes sold by retailers and those recommended online