Popular toys could cause serious harm to children’s health

“Squishies” are known popular toys for kids. Recent reports suggested that they contain chemicals that could cause cancer.

With the likes of stress balls, squishies are foam toys and are often shaped like food or cute animals.

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency recently discovered cancer-causing chemicals inside the toys. These chemicals can potentially result in liver damage, troubles in breathing, irritation in the eye, and even infertility.

The said agency had tested 12 squishies, and the results revealed that they contain substances that can have both long and short-term problems for the health.

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The Danish minister for environment and health, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, spoke in a press release and discussed the issue.

He said, “When all twelve toys contain high amounts of harmful substances, alarm bells begin to go off. This indicates that there may be an overall problem with all squishies.”

Despite the results shown by the Danish agency, the Toy Industries Europe (TIE) said that the study was “flimsy,” and pointed out that testing only 12 toys couldn’t possibly justify that every one of the thousands of manufactured foam toys poses a risk.

As revealed by the Daily Mail, a TIE spokesperson said, “Parents in the UK can rest assured that toys bought from reputable sources are safe for children to play with.”


The scientists at the Danish agency studied the chemicals given off by the toys if a child were to lay down and sleep while hugging the toy an hour after it had been taken out of the packaging.

The analysis revealed that the child would be exposed to “unacceptably high levels” of chemicals like N-dimethylformamide (DMF), which has been connected to liver toxicity, constipation, and vomiting. The skin almost immediately absorbs the chemical.

Dangerous levels of the chemicals triethylenediamine and cyclohexanone were also found on all 12 squishies.

Triethylenediamine can potentially cause eye irritation and breathing difficulties, while cyclohexanone cause drowsiness.

Squishies, according to the reports, are usually manufactured in Japan and are sent to different parts of the world.


Talking about the results, Ellemann-Jensen said, “I think all distributors and importers should take their responsibility seriously and remove all squishies from their shelves.”

He added, “They should not be returned to shelves until it can be documented that they do not emit chemicals that may be harmful to children.”

In early 2018, a British girl had gone through chemical burns after one of the foam toys burst in her hand, as revealed by the Daily Mail.

Meanwhile, the fire department in North Carolina previously warned parents about children’s toys that had hidden fireworks inside.

Unlike the original toys, the fake ones have explosives and it poses a great risk for the people who are unaware of the nature of the toys.

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