Watchdog warning over magnetic plasticine

Hu Min
Batches of products sold for children to play with failed quality standards when tested by city market regulators with small parts and excess boron a risk to health. 
Hu Min

The city's market watchdog issued a safety warning about magnetic plasticine on Thursday. 

The Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation checked 19 batches of the product, 17 of which were bought online, and all had safety hazards, officials said. 

They failed for having small parts and excessive amounts of boron, according to the administration. 

In total, 11 batches failed for small parts or having magnetic fields between 17 and 35 times of the standard for toys, the administration said. 

Magnetic plasticine sold by Shanghai Qishe Electronic Science and Technology Co on Tmall, Shanghai Wutui Internet Science and Technology Co on, and Yiwu Moxu Toy Co on shopping site Pinduoduo were among those on the list the administration said.  

"Small parts in magnetic plasticine may be swallowed or put inside the nose by children, leading to potential suffocation hazards," said Wei Biwen, director of the Shanghai Customs Mechanical and Electrical Product Testing Center. 

"Small magnetic parts may lead to more serious injuries," she said. "If children swallow two or more magnets, it will risk intestinal perforation or obstruction in extreme situations."

Seventeen batches were found to have excess boron, a substance often added to toys to enhance elasticity, the administration said. 

Long-term exposure to boron or ingesting large amounts can be fatal, the administration said. 

Long-term contact with toys containing boron can affect children’s endocrine systems and harm their reproductive health, said Wei. 

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