Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Recalled Toy Beads, Aqua Dots, Did Contain High Level Of Poisonous Chemical, 'Date Rape' Drug, Study Shows

Date:
May 21, 2008
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Reports of children becoming unconscious after swallowing Aqua Dots beads led to a voluntary recall of the product in November 2007. At the time, it was widely reported that the potentially toxic chemical 1,4-butanediol (BD) had been used in place of the benign but more expensive 1,5-pentanediol (PD) in the manufacture of the beads. A new study confirms these reports, finding that Aqua Dots contained no 1,5-PD at all, but had a surprisingly high level – almost 14 percent - of extractable 1,4-BD. According to the study, consumption of several dozen Aqua Dots beads containing these levels of the chemical, a central nervous system depressant commonly known as a “date-rape drug,” would be enough to induce the reported vomiting and self-limited comas experienced by children that ingested the toys.

Reports of children becoming unconscious after swallowing Aqua Dots beads led to a voluntary recall of the product in November 2007. At the time, it was widely reported that the potentially toxic chemical 1,4-butanediol (BD) had been used in place of the benign but more expensive 1,5-pentanediol (PD) in the manufacture of the beads.

A new study, led by Dr. Jeffrey Suchard of the University of California, Irvine confirms these reports, finding that Aqua Dots contained no 1,5-PD at all, but had a surprisingly high level – almost 14 percent - of extractable 1,4-BD.

According to the study, consumption of several dozen Aqua Dots beads containing these levels of 1,4-BD, which is metabolized after ingestion to gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), a central nervous system depressant commonly known as a “date-rape drug,” would be enough to induce the reported vomiting and self-limited comas experienced by children that ingested the toys.

The beads did not contain any 1,5-pentanediol. That non-toxic chemical had been completely replaced with the potentially toxic 1,4-butanediol.

Aqua Dots is a children’s toy craft kit that sold millions of units in the United States and around the world. This toy was composed of small colored plastic beads that could be arranged into various shapes which would permanently stick together when misted with water and then allowed to dry. Several children in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom became ill and were hospitalized after swallowing these beads.

The toy kits have since been recalled, however it is notable that poisoning events from consumer products and medications containing toxic diols and glycols have been reported for many decades and continue to occur at fairly regular intervals.

“These chemicals appear to have a knack for being inadvertently introduced into such products, despite their known toxicities,” says Suchard.

The presentation is entitled “1,4-Butanediol Content of Aqua Dots Craft Toy Beads.” This paper will be presented at the 2008 SAEM Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on May 30th. Abstracts are published in Vol. 15, No. 5, Supplement 1, May 2008 of Academic Emergency Medicine, the official journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Recalled Toy Beads, Aqua Dots, Did Contain High Level Of Poisonous Chemical, 'Date Rape' Drug, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520175259.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, May 21). Recalled Toy Beads, Aqua Dots, Did Contain High Level Of Poisonous Chemical, 'Date Rape' Drug, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520175259.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Recalled Toy Beads, Aqua Dots, Did Contain High Level Of Poisonous Chemical, 'Date Rape' Drug, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520175259.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins