Loom band charms are being removed from shelves in the UK after fears emerged that some may contain dangerous levels of cancer causing chemicals.
On investigation it was discovered that the charms at The Entertainer toy store were laced with deadly phthalates - substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity. Management at The Entertainer immediately ordered the removal of tens of thousands loom charms from its shelves in all 91 stores across the UK.
Alarmingly, one of the tiny plastic charms was tested to have contained more than 400 times the permitted level of the dangerous chemical, which can disrupt hormones in children. The tested charms also contained two banned phthalates failing to comply with EU legislation.
The charms made by RMS International, which manufactures in Manchester, Holland, Miami, Hong Kong and Shanghai were labeled with the 'CE' safety mark - which should mean they comply with EU safety standards. The manufacturer also supplies Asda, Tesco and Argos. However, RMS International insists that the investigation was only for the PVC loom charms. A statement from RMS read, "We would like to reassure the public that loom bands are entirely safe and this only involves a number of PVC loom charms."
Spokesperson of The Entertainer in a statement to The Telegraph said, "It was brought to our attention that loom charms purchased from one of our stores may contain phthalates. Children's safety is our number one priority so as a precautionary measure we have removed all loom charms from sale with immediate effect whilst we conduct a full investigation. Any concerned customers will be offered a full refund or exchange in any of our stores."
Loom bands are the latest craze, popularized by many celebrities who have sported these colorful plastic bands. Icons like David Beckham, One Direction's Harry Styles, pop star Miley Cyrus and even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been spotted with the much sought after arm candy.