6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Water Beads Toxic Toy

Water Beads Toxic Toy

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(Consumer Reports) – This past fall the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning about a popular children’s toy called water beads. If swallowed, these tiny, super-absorbent and super-expanding toys can cause vomiting, intestinal blockages, and life-threatening injuries.

Now, after extensive testing by Consumer Reports and the CPSC, new dangers have emerged – toxic chemicals.

“Tests found chemicals like acrylamide, a likely carcinogen that is also toxic to the brain. And BPA, which has been linked to certain cancers and fertility issues,” Lauren Kirchner, Consumer Reports Investigative Reporter said.

But many packages of water beads are labeled “nontoxic.” What gives?

“Non-toxic’ is a label that you see a lot, on all kinds of different types of products, but consumers might not know that it’s a term that is really under-enforced and under-regulated,” Kirchner said.

“Just because something says that it’s non-toxic does not mean that it is safe and that it does not mean that this product cannot potentially poison a child,” Ashley Haugen, That Water Bead Lady said.

Ashley Haugen says her daughter continues suffering from long-term toxic effects of having ingested a water bead years ago.

“They ended up diagnosing Kipley with toxic brain encephalopathy, which is a brain injury,” Haugen said.

Consumer Reports and other safety advocates are calling for a ban on these products.

“And asking retailers to follow Amazon, Walmart, and Target’s lead, and take them off their shelves,” Kirchner said.

“They need to ban the water beads as toys and from being marketed to children as toys. They should not be used in homes with children and they need to be banned,” Haugen said.

And if you have water beads in your house, best advice – throw them away.