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Fears as cancer risk is found in some loom band charms

SOME brands of loom band charms could pose a long-term danger to health.

Research carried out in the UK has found that some brands may contain chemicals called Phthalates, which are suspected carcinogens.

The Assay Office Birmingham, which offers product safety and quality assurance testing as part of its services, said on its website: "The latest loom bands craze in particular is throwing up some alarming results considering these products are so child-appealing.

"Phthalates can migrate from plastic into the body if they come into contact with saliva or sweat," it warned.

"Phthalates are suspected carcinogens and are known to disturb the endocrine system in both humans and animals."

However, due to customer confidentiality, the laboratory has not published news on the brands that failed.

The loom band charms were submitted for testing by a number of manufacturers, according to MummyPages.ie

Manufacturers have no legal responsibility to send their products for testing.

The limit of Phthalates permitted by EU regulations is 0.1pc by weight, but the failed loom charms contained over 50pc by weight of the chemicals.

"The loom band craze has had mixed reactions from our community of mums over the summer," said Laura Haugh from MummyPages.ie.

She said that the craft activity has been praised for taking children away from digital media.

Supervision

"However, reports of bands getting stuck on fingers, springing into eyes, and being ingested by small children and animals have demonstrated the need for greater parental supervision.

"The new report from a laboratory in Birmingham which now suggests that carcinogenic chemicals are contained within the loom band charm accessories is extremely worrying," Ms Haugh added.

The multi-coloured elastic bands are so popular that some Irish schools have banned them from the classroom.

They were invented around three years ago. However, 
success has bred imitation, and there are thousands of 
loom band products flooding the market, which aren't 
manufactured by the original makers.

fdillon@herald.ie


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