Our kids adore their ‘squishies’ and have collected a whole box full of them. I’ve even had a few squeezes myself. But it looks like these popular toys are not as innocent as they look.

Just in case you have no idea what I’m talking about – ‘squishies’ are pretty much foam stress balls for kids, usually shaped as animals or treats.

The toys have recently been banned in Denmark after tests showed that they contain dangerous chemicals, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Dangerous Chemicals

It was discovered that the squishies contained cancer-causing substances, as well as chemicals that can lead to liver damage, breathing problems, infertility and eye irritation.

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Twelve different squishies were tested by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency and these damaging chemicals were found in all of them.

Scientists analysed the chemicals given off by squishies if a child went to sleep hugging a squishy one hour after it had been removed from its packet.

Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, the Danish minister for environment and health, said: ‘When all twelve toys contain high amounts of harmful substances, alarm bells begin to go off. This indicates that there may be an overall problem with all squishies’.

The most worrying chemical present was N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF), which is easily absorbed through the skin and has been linked to liver toxicity, as well as constipation and vomiting.

The study also confirmed the presence of dangerously high levels of triethylenediamine, (linked to eye irritation and breathing difficulties), and cyclohexanone, which can cause drowsiness.

In addition, the squishies also contain various fragrances, which could encourage male-breast growth.

All Squishies Should Be Removed From the Shelves

Speaking of the results, Mr Ellemann-Jensen added: ‘I think all distributors and importers should take their responsibility seriously and remove all squishies from their shelves.

‘They should not be returned to shelves until it can be documented that they do not emit chemicals that may be harmful to children.’

These disturbing results have been shared with other countries. However,  Toy Industries Europe were unimpressed calling the research ‘flimsy’ saying that testing just 12 squishies is insufficient to justify a ban.

There has been no move in Australia to ban squishies as yet.

Chemical Burns

This isn’t the first time squishies have made headlines.  A few months ago we reported that a squishy had burst in a child’s hands causing a chemical burn.

Scary….Does this make you want to toss out your kids squishies? Tell us in the comments below.

  • Not all squishy are toxic. The authority only tested the cheap ones which are sold in supermarket and some toys shops. There are safe and non-toxic ones which came from Japan and China. These came with test certificates and can only be bought online. The Japanese brand Ibloom has been in the Japan market for more than 20 years. If it’s toxic, the Japanese authorities would have banned them. You can search for the safe ones online.


  • There are many toys on the market that are toxic. We need to really think hard about how toxic products are all around us and think about the link to increased cancer in children. Stay away from the cheap imports and buy quality toys that have been tested and deemed safe.


  • Shouldn’t they eliminate any risks these toys expose BEFORE selling them on the market.
    Glad I havent brought any, and after reading this I wont be.


  • There should be much stricter measures for screening these dangerous toys and making sure they don’t hit the shelves. I am often sceptical about the dangerous chemicals in kids toys coming out of China.


  • It amazes me that products still get out on the market with chemicals present.


  • We don’t have any – but it’s certainly a cause for concern.


  • Thankfully they aren’t a big thing in this house

    • Not a big deal for us either but sharing just in case other have them.


  • This is concerning. When it’s true that they contain such dangerous chemicals, then I don’t understand that these are produced for our kids as toys !


  • This is quite an alarming article for anyone that has squishies. Hope more information is released on them.


  • My mother in- law bought one for my 2 year old. She left it in reach of my baby who ended up biting it & ripping it apart. Lucky I got it away from her before she swallowed any of it & now after reading this article, I think I’ll be banning them for good


  • Well now I’m worried. Can’t stand the smell of these things so I wouldn’t be sad to toss them out but surely they’d have to pass Australian safety standards?


  • great product testing there


  • I wish we did this sort of research before they were sold.


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