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Aqua Dots Flying Off Store Shelves

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, November 08, 2007 9:54 AM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Defective and Dangerous Products, Childrens Products, Toys

Just in Time for Christmas

Aquadots cover2 
Aqua Dots have been on store shelves since April

Call 1-800 622-8339 for free replacement beads or toy of equal value 9am-6pm EST

Aqua dot beads 



Target, Toys R Us, Amazon and Wal-Mart, among other retailers are all scrambling to pull the latest hot toy off store shelves. Not because it’s almost Christmas and it’s considered a top Wal-Mart toy for 2007.

“Aqua Dots Super Studio” was being heavily promoted this season as a fun arts-and-crafts project that combines, “creativity and crafting to create multiple designs – just add water!”

Adding water or saliva is the problem.

In an unusually strong warning, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that a solvent used to manufacture the toy’s beads at a Chinese plant can, when ingested, convert into a chemical that’s found in the date rape drug known as GHB.

More than four million of the toys, distributed by the Canadian company,  Spin Master are being recalled. They’ve been on store shelves since April and may be in a closet waiting to be wrapped.

In an unusually strong warning, the CPSC says consumers should take the toy away from their child and look for any stray beads that may have fallen from the craft kit.

CPSC’s Julie Vallese says,  "Parents should take this very seriously. The consequences to children who ingest these beads is very serious." 

5 Children Injured   

The CPSC has reports of two U.S. children who swallowed Aqua Dots including a 20-month-old who became dizzy and vomited then slipped into a comatose state.  A second child vomited, went into a coma and was hospitalized for five days.  Both children have recovered.   

Since last week, three Australian children were also hospitalized by the Australian version of the bead toy called Bindeez, Australia’s 2007 Toy of the Year. 

A two-year old boy and 10-year old girl swallowed a quantity of beads and were both admitted to a Sydney hospital. The third child, a 19-month old was also receiving medical help after eating beads.

How It Was Identified

It took detective work by a biochemical geneticist in Sydney to identify the problem  When the first Australian boy was hospitalized, doctors at Children’s Hospital at Westmead first thought he has a genetic disorder or was given illegal drugs by a family member.

But Dr. Kevin Carpenter looked further. Using a mass spectrometer he saw a large peak of a “substance I didn’t recognize,” the New York Times reports. A urine sample found GHB. After two days the compound dissipated from the boy’s system confirming the symptoms were not genetic.

Bindeez has been pulled from store shelves in Australia. Moose Enterprises, maker of Bindeez says the toy was made at a Shenzhen factory in China.  Moose will reissue the toy but put a foul tasting ingredient on the beads.

Moose has shipped Bindeez to 40 countries. In Britain, the toy is marketed by Flair Leisure Products Plc of Britain but a company spokesman says an independent lab failed to find any 1,4 butanediol in that country’s version. The beads in that product were purchased from a different Chinese supplier.

It’s up to individual countries whether or not to recall the product. So far, besides the U.S. Aqua Dots, also known as Aqua Beads, are also being recalled in Canada. 

How Contamination Happened

GHB or Gama hydroxyl butyrate is naturally found in the human nervous system as well in citrus fruits and wine.

Small doses are considered safe and are used to treat alcoholism, as a weight loss tool, a sedative and general anesthetic. But high does can cause unconsciousness and convulsions, vomiting and reduced respiration. 

And known on the streets as Juice or Liquid Ecstasy, GHB is a clear, odorless, salty liquid that can easily be masked in a drink to reduce inhibitions and induce a deep sleep. It is commonly used in raves and clubs as a date rape drug.

1,4-Butanediol is a solvent, commonly used as a raw material in factories to manufacture of some types of plastics and is converted into GHB after human ingestion. 

News reports have called the compound by both names, but they are similar compounds according to the book, Drugs of Abuse.

Lawmakers point to this latest recall, just in time for Christmas, as another dose of harsh reality about the lacking safety standards among foreign plants, the failing oversight by domestic retailers and a regulatory agency that is the dog being wagged by the industry tail. They have proposed Senate Bill 2045.

Hearings began in October on the CPSC Reform Act of 2007 sponsored by Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas. The bill would modernize the CPSC by increasing funding and regulatory powers of the federal health and safety agency with the smallest staff and budget of any agency charged with protecting American’s health.#



Anonymous User
Posted by janna
Thursday, November 08, 2007 11:13 AM EST

I just bought my son the aqua dot system and tons of replacement beads. Is there any way I can get my money back?
Thank you,

Anonymous User
Posted by Shannon
Thursday, November 08, 2007 12:27 PM EST

hey, i would like to say that aqua dots SUCK.

Anonymous User
Posted by missi
Thursday, November 08, 2007 12:30 PM EST

My daughter just had a birthday on Nov. 6, 2007 and recieved aqua dots as a gift from a few different people. How do I go about getting money back?

Anonymous User
Posted by Anna
Thursday, November 08, 2007 12:34 PM EST

This is STILL being sold on Amazon...


I cann't BELIEVE that they aren't ALL being recalled for good! And who cares if they add a foul tasting coating on the beads. I don't want my children playing with anything that can kill them! DUH! Greedy for profit!

Anonymous User
Posted by Nick Carroll
Thursday, November 08, 2007 12:56 PM EST


Call 1-800 622-8339 for free replacement beads or toy of equal value 9am-6pm EST

or visit LINK

Anonymous User
Posted by Shawna
Thursday, November 08, 2007 3:41 PM EST

My daughter recieved this toy for her birthday 10/22 so the box has been discarded,no gift reciept,item was purchased at a Target store .Target store was helpful said I could return the toy,hopefully not a problem when I get there.I have no interest in replacement beads, Who would ? The phone number 1-800-622-8339 listed above is shut down .

Posted by victoria
Thursday, November 08, 2007 8:59 PM EST


Anonymous User
Posted by M
Thursday, November 08, 2007 9:03 PM EST

Now we have to worry about older kids eating them for the high.

Anonymous User
Posted by Requiem
Thursday, November 08, 2007 9:09 PM EST

Funny thing is at our university, this toy is extremely popular at the frat parties. I couldn't understand how a children toy was popular at frat parties untill i discovered the friggin toy is laced with drugs. hehe

Anonymous User
Posted by Jay
Friday, November 09, 2007 2:49 AM EST

So my niece received this gift as a birthday gift of November 3rd we opened it that night to play with it, and just to let ya know it sucks!! During this play time i happened to put an aqua dot in my mouth and instantly got a nasty glue taste. Soon after maybe about 10minutes i started to feel a bit wierd not a sick feeling nor a dizzle feeling but just a wierd feeling something i never felt b4. Well if you have it return that toy and get your money back and if you happened to loose the reciept just contat the manufactor give them a hard time an they'll make you happy

Anonymous User
Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, November 09, 2007 2:58 PM EST

Hello All-

I tried the 800 number and it seems to be working, but have been jammed earlier this week!

Anonymous User
Posted by Albert
Monday, November 12, 2007 2:10 AM EST

Thank you Jane for keeping on keeping on! You were the prettiest girl at Long Island Lutheran High. I try to spread the word about what you made visible to the general public with regards to "News?". People should know that it is legal for the big media corps to falsify and distort news. I disconnected my television well over a year ago. Why watch mainstream media when it potentially is just propaganda and lies to promote profit over people? I hope Steve is doing well and give him equal credit for his efforts to make the world a better place.

Anonymous User
Posted by jessica
Monday, November 12, 2007 12:31 PM EST

Can I get my money back for this toy?

Comments for this article are closed.

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