Wednesday, March 3, 2010

CASE, MOH warn of toxic chemical in toy

Singapore News

CASE, MOH warn of toxic chemical in toy
By Mustafa Shafawi, Channel NewsAsia Posted: 04 March 2010 1327 hrs

SINGAPORE: The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) have issued an alert on the presence of a toxic chemical found in a broad bean squeeze toy, "Extrusion Bean".

"Extrusion Bean" squeeze toy found with dibutyl phthalates and diethylhexyl phthalates, toxic chemicals suspected of causing mass vomiting among primary school students.

The toy may be the cause of a spate of mass vomiting involving 17 primary six students at Ai Tong School on February 4. MOH's investigations found that the children had earlier played with the Extrusion Bean toy and failed to wash their hands properly before consuming food in school.

Broad bean squeeze toy "Extrusion Bean' found to contain toxic chemicals, dibutyl phthalates & diethylhexyl phthalates.

Tests conducted on the toy identified the presence of two phthalates - dibutyl phthalates and diethylhexyl phthalates. Phthalates are substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility and durability. Consumption of phthalates can cause symptoms such as diarrhoea, nausea, stomach ache and vomiting.

The two phthalates were banned from all toys and childcare items in the European Union in 2005, in view of their long-term toxic effects.

As a safety precaution, CASE and MOH urge all consumers who own the toy to immediately discard it.

Members of the public who come into contact with the toy and show symptoms such as diarrhoea, nausea, stomach ache and vomiting should seek medical help immediately.

CASE would also like all distributors and retailers of the toy to recall and stop selling the product with immediate effect.

Consumers who had bought the Extrusion Bean toy should inform CASE of the outlet from which they had made the purchase. CASE can be reached at 6463 1811.

- CNA/sc

From; source artile here.