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Neuroscience For Kids

Toxic Toy Recalled in North America and Australia
November 8, 2007


The Consumer Product Safety Commission (United States) and the New South Wales (Australia) Office of Fair Trading has recalled a popular toy because it contains a chemical that if eaten can be converted into 1,4-butanediol (BD). BD affects the central nervous system in a way similar to alcohol. It relaxes people and makes them sleepy and can reduce breathing rate and slow reflexes. Some news agencies are reporting that the beads contain small amounts of BD, the drug gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) or a chemical that is converted to GHB.

bin The toy, called Aqua Dots in the US and Bindeez in Australia, is made in China. Children use Aqua Dots and Bindeez by arranging beads in patterns and then spraying the design with water to hold the beads together. The beads were supposed to contain 1,5 pentanediol, a non-toxic chemical used in glue. However, the beads contained another chemical that converts to BD in the body. Several children have become sick after eating some of the beads.

Aqua Dots and Bindeez have been removed from store shelves and parents have been advised to keep them out of reach of their children. bdd

References and more information:

  1. US Consumer Product Safety Commission Recall
  2. ABC News Report - Toddler hospitalised after swallowing toy
  3. Bindeez Recall Information from Moose Enterprise
  4. 1,4-butanediol - Neuroscience for Kids
  5. GHB - Neuroscience for Kids

Copyright © 1996-2007, Eric H. Chudler, University of Washington