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green slime

Warning Parents: “Slime” created in science or art at school poses health risks to children

by Leigh Egan

Many children are now making DIY slime at home with a compound that can cause health issues

Some teachers use it for science experiments or art projects, and thousands upon thousands of kids are making it at home. Polymer slime is fun, it looks cool to children, but it could end up causing serious irritation, and even worse, damaging fertility.

Health officials are issuing warnings about slime products, also known as GAK, that contain borax, a common household and commercial cleaner that can cause eye, respiratory, and skin irritation. In some instances, it’s been linked to hormonal disruption. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that large amounts of borax contact can result in reduced ovulation and fertility in females, and decreased libido and sperm count in males.

In schools where slime is created for educational purposes, teachers are required to dilute it to non-toxic levels (1g of borax in 20ml of water). However, do-it-yourself (DIY) slime at home instructions are all over the Internet, with hundreds of instructional videos YouTube, showing children how to make it using borax.

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Last month, Dr. Richard Uluski, a Connecticut pediatrician, told WCMH-TV that DIY slime can be extremely unsafe to children

“Something that’s a chemical should not be used as a toy. It’s very popular because it makes the stuff that you see in the stores and you can dye it all different colors. It is just like putting lead in paint and putting that on a toy and kids don’t want to put that in their mouth so it’s the same aspect here.”

Dr. Uluski also warned that ingesting borax could lead to seizures.

The adverse effects of borax aren’t immediate, according to Dr. Uluski. If your child accidentally ingests borax or any product or homemade toy that contains borax, contact the American Association of Poison Control at 800-222-1222.

In the meantime, experts warn parents against allowing children to make any type of homemade product containing borax.

[Feature Photo: Nevit/Wiki Commons]

Leigh Egan is a crime-fighting journalist and editor who specializes in breaking news and investigative true crime coverage. With more than a decade of experience under her belt, Leigh’s work can be found in a number of high-profile national publications. For Leigh, learning didn’t stop after college. She considers herself a lifelong learner who frequently takes media and journalism courses to keep abreast of the latest happenings and innovations in her field.