A children’s toy expected to be on many wish lists this Christmas has been recalled because of a harmful side effect. The recalled Aqua Dots were made with the incorrect chemical and can metabolize into the “date rape” drug GHB if swallowed. There had been reports of children falling ill after ingesting the small beads that make up the toy.
Millions of units of the popular toys, which are sold as Aqua Dots in the United States and as Bindeez in Australia, were recalled in those countries as well as Britain, Malaysia, Singapore and elsewhere this past week after children began falling sick from swallowing the toy’s bead-like parts.
The recall is the latest in a slew of product quality scandals that has tarnished China’s image as an exporter of reliable goods. The government has tried to shore up the country’s reputation by increasing inspections, selectively punishing companies and launching a publicity campaign to boost quality.
China has confirmed that the chemical 1,4-butanediol was used as a coating on the toy an there was no objection by the toy’s distributor. They were supposed to use the chemical 1,5-pentanediol but it costs more.