Popular soft toys full of toxic chemicals, analysis reveals

Stephen Gadd
June 20th, 2018

This article is more than 5 years old.

Squishes may look cute but they can be extremely harmful to children

Cat Burger is one of the 12 offending squishies found to have too many chemicals (photo: Miljø- og Fødevareministeriet)

A squishy is a colourful soft toy made from memory foam that is especially popular with children aged 5-12. They come in all shapes and sizes and have become increasingly popular recently – thanks partly to social media and their wide accessibility in toy shops and via the internet.

However, a new report from the Ministry of the Environment and Food department Miljøstyrelsen recommends parents getting rid of any squishies in the home and not buying any more.

The soft toys often smell of chemicals or perfume, so Miljøstyrelsen tested 12 types to see whether they constituted a risk to the children playing with them. The analysis revealed that all 12 of the tested squishies gave off unacceptably high levels of toxic chemicals.

Flying off the shelves
“It’s totally unacceptable that toys are sold that are harmful to children,” said Jakob Elleman-Jensen, the minister for the environment and food.

“It is the responsibility of the toy industry to ensure the products they sell are legal and free from harmful chemicals. In this case, there have been serious problems when children have inhaled substances that can irritate mucous membranes and in the long run might damage their liver and reproductive abilities,” added Elleman-Jensen.

READ ALSO: Old Lego bricks potentially harmful to children, claims British study

The toxic toys will be removed from the shelves as soon as possible and the ministry is considering whether there is a basis for legal action.

A number of shops such as Top-Toy and the Salling Group that owns Føtex, Bilka and Netto have already given orders to stop the sale of squishies, and several of them are also offering refunds to people who feel anxious about having the toys in the house, reports DR Nyheder.


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