Chinese safety watchdog confirm toxic 'date-rape' substance on toys

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November 11, 2007 05:43

 
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China's safety watchdog has confirmed that bead toys recalled in the United States and Australia after sickening children contain a toxic substance, state media said. In an announcement carried by Xinhua News Agency late Saturday night, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine also said the toys had been made by the Wangqi Product Factory in Shenzhen, a city just over the border from Hong Kong. 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 in Britain, Malaysia, Singapore and elsewhere this past week after children began falling sick from swallowing the toy's bead-like parts. Hong Kong's customs department said Friday that tests showed the toys were coated with the industrial chemical 1,4-butanediol. When ingested the chemical metabolizes into the "date-rape" drug gamma hydroxy butyrate, and may cause breathing problems, loss of consciousness and seizures.

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