July 23, 2024

CPSC Warns About Hazards of Water Beads

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning consumers about the hazards of water beads and young children. Water beads, which are often sold as toys in craft kits, are designed for use as sensory tools for children with developmental disabilities. They are small balls of super absorbing polymers and can grow to 100 times their original size when exposed to water.

CPSC Warns About Hazards of Water Beads

If children swallow these beads, which can be as small as a pinhead, they can grow inside the body, causing intestinal blockages and life-threatening injuries. Surgery may be required to remove the beads. Symptoms of water bead ingestion an include vomiting, dehydration, and severe discomfort.

The only way to prevent this hazard is to remove them from any environment where children may live or visit. Do not let children play with water beads unsupervised. Since they easily scatter and roll, and become lost in the home, children can pick them up and swallow them. Store the beads in a secure container, if you choose to have them in your home, and make sure young children can’t get to them.

Water beads from two manufacturers, Jangostor and Tuladuo, were also warned against because they contain acrylamide levels that present the risk of toxicity. Neither Chinese company has agreed to an acceptable recall.

Acrylamid is a known carcinogen. The large water brands in CPSC’s warnings contain levels of acrylamide that are in violation of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.

CPSC data shows that nearly 7,000 water bead-related ingestion injuries in the United States were treated in emergency rooms from 2018 through 2022. CPSC is also aware of a death of a 10-month-old girl in 2023.


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