Squishies: children’s toys loaded with toxic chemicals

10 / 08 / 2018

“Squishies”, colourful soft toys made from memory foam, have been withdrawn from the Danish market because they can contain harmful chemicals that are especially harmful for children. Unfortunately “Squishies” are still being sold in other European countries.

 A number of Danish retailers such as BR, Top-Toy and Toys”R”Us gave orders to stop the sale of “Squishies” at their Danish branches as of 19 June 2018. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency had issued an official warning for these products due to high levels of harmful and allergenic substances. “Squishies” are small foam toys that children can collect and play with. They come in all shapes and colours and emit an intense sweetish smell. A government-mandated test of twelve squishy figures had revealed that they all contained hazardous chemicals.

High health risk for children

The results showed that  the “Squishies” emitted hazardous substances at very high concentrations.

According to the Danish authorities, these chemicals pose a high risk for children, e.g. if they take their “Squishies” to bed or have several of them in their bedroom.

The chemicals that were identified include dimethylformamide, styrene, and toluene. These substances are considered harmful to human health.
Dimethylformamide has been on the EU candidate list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) since the end of 2012 because it is harmful for reproduction and can cause liver damage.
Toluene can damage the nervous system,  the kidneys, and probably also the liver.  It can also affect the reproductive system, is teratogenic, can severely irritate the eyes and respiratory system, and can cause allergic reactions.
Unlike in Denmark, “Squishies” are still available in stores in other European countries.

Photo: pixabay.com

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