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Warning on crystal ball toys

THE Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry has warned that popular toy crystal balls that grow in water can be dangerous, Shanghai Morning Post reported today.

The toy balls, from Guangdong Province, are made of super absorbent polymer, an institute expert said. If children swallow the crystals accidentally, they can swell in the body and could injure babies. As well the dyes used to color the crystals may be harmful.

The crystal balls, nicknamed "sea babies," are two to three millimeters in diameter and but grow up to hundreds of times the original size and develop a springy feel after being soaked in water. They are being sold and can be found at the gates of some primary schools.

The polymer is usually found in personal disposable hygiene products, such as baby diapers, adult protective underwear and sanitary napkins.

There is no manufacturer's name or ingredient information on the packaging. The toys come from South korea.


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