Batches of loombands, the popular plastic bands that can be weaved into bracelets and even clothing, are being tested in Wales over fears they carry dangerous levels of toxic chemicals.
The tests are being carried out in Carmarthenshire after local trading standards officers believe that the bands may not comply with toy safety regulations, Wales Online reported.
The checks follow the revelation that loom band related products, such as the charms that are made to dangle off the bracelets, contained 500 times the legal level of phthalates, a toxin that is strictly regulated, in their plastic.
Phthalates are used to make plastic more pliable and safer, but it is restricted to amounting to 0.1 per cent of plastic toys, due to the harm they can cause people.
But the tests on the loom band charms, which are imported into the UK, found the toys contained up to 50 per cent of phthalates, completely flouting the UK’s legal limit.
As a result, Carmarthenshire council have recommended that parents actively check the labels of loom band packs to make sure they do not contain potentially harmful levels of phthalates, while the council waits on outcome of the tests being carried out on loom bands.
Councillor Jim Jonrd, Carmarthenshire executive member for public protection, told the publication: “We do not want to spoil anybody’s fun, especially since this craze is encouraging wonderful creativity, but we also don’t want to see anyone come to any harm.
“All we’re asking is that parents carefully consider the quality of the bands and charms they are buying for their children - especially the cheaper bands that may have been imported and do not meet British safety standards.”
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