UK consumer watchdog group, Which?, released news yesterday that 8 out of 11 slimes tested from the market contained high levels of the potentially poisonous chemical boron. Whether it’s used at the end of a kids T.V. game show, or just to relax at home, Americans are very familiar with slime. Steadily, the gooey, oozy toy has slinked its way into the popular consciousness. A recent study from the UK, however, has some Americans concerned that we aren’t living up to higher consumer standards. Which? discovered that 8 out of 11 slimes contained high levels of boron, while 4 of those 8 contained more than 3X the safety limit. According to Which? all 8 of the slimes were available from Amazon, but have since been removed.
Boron is related to borax, a chemical which gives slime it’s typical gelatinous shape. Boron in small amounts is safe for children, but when those levels reach the thousandth kg, like in Toysmith’s Jupiter Juice and CCINEE’s Fluffy Slime, they can become potentially harmful to your children. Short term exposure or ingestion can lead to irritation of the skin, diarrhea, or cramps, while long term exposure in animals have led to “birth defects, and developmental delays”.
“These slimes were tested in the UK”, you might say to yourself, “people in America really aren’t at risk”. Think again, Amazon services roughly 47 countries in the world, including America, and their products are sometimes interchangeable between the US and UK markets. The only difference between America and the UK, in this instance, is that the UK has high standards of consumer protections which will allow them to take action against the companies in question.
There are some slimes which seem to be perfectly safe when it comes to boron: The Works’ Goopy Slime and Glam Goo’s deluxe pack, for example. But the trouble remains that consumers can’t tell which slimes are safe and which aren’t just by looking at the packaging. Which? recommends making your own slime, making sure you aren’t adding anything that you wouldn’t let your child play with ordinarily. This mom seems to have a safe recipe which she says contains no borax: