The discovery that Amazon has been a platform for dangerous slime has highlighted the need for buyers to be more stringent in the research of products they purchase online, a leading toy supplier has said.
Toys For Play, the UK and Ireland distributor of Slimy - the original slime brand from the 80s - has called upon online platforms such as Amazon and eBay to do more to protect consumers and the brands that operate safely within the market, from the harmful fall-out caused by ‘cheap products.’
According to the company’s sales director, James Parrish, warnings of working with slime products containing the chemical Borax have been circling the trade for a number of years.
The rise in popularity of the slime trend in recent months has highlighted a slew of brands that use levels of the chemical deemed unsafe by EU toy trading standards.
A recent report from the consumer watchdog Which? found that of 11 brands sold via Amazon, eight contained excessive amounts of the chemical that has been linked to infertility and causing harm to unborn children in pregnant women when used in high dosages.
It has led to a number of reputable brands issuing statements of reassurance to their customer base over the high standards of safety to which they comply. It has also brought into question the model with which online platforms like Amazon and eBay operate in pushing through ‘inferior brands.’
As it stands it is currently a simple process for anyone to open a sellers account on both platforms.
Joker AG is the Swiss owner of the Slimy brand, a firm with 37 years’ history of working in the toy industry.
A statement from the firm’s CEO Meinrad Flurry, said: “Joker is recognised as being the world’s safest manufacturer of Slimy compounds. Unfortunately, many cheap manufacturers in China do not adopt the safety standards and they use cheap and sometimes questionable chemicals resulting in dangerous products.”
Amazon and eBay are among those that have been accused by industry spokespeople of a ‘careless attitude’ in ensuring that products sold via the platform maintain the standards of those sold on the high street.
In the fight against allowing inferior and potentially dangerous products to slip through the net, Toys For Play’s Parrish has appealed to consumers, buyers and stockists to be diligent in the research they do into certain brands.
“When it is as cheap as some of those listed on Amazon and eBay, you can expect to be receiving cheap – and in the cases highlighted recently – potentially harmful products,” he told ToyNews.
“We want to reassure our customers that our product is not only confirmed by ourselves but by certified laboratories such as Bureau Veritas and Intertek that all of our compounds comply with all international safety standards and are safe to play for children and adult consumers.”
Following the release of the report from Which?, Amazon has delisted all eight slime brands found to be using as much as four times the EU safety levels of 300mg/kg of Borax in their products.
However, the fight is not over, suggests James who told ToyNews that “looking through Amazon and eBay, there is still a lot of questionable product out there.”
“Until these online platforms work out a method of better screening these inferior products, we are reassuring our own customers of our own high safety standards and urging buyers to take due care when making their purchases.”