Document Detail

1,4-Butanediol content of aqua dots children's craft toy beads.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19655283     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
INTRODUCTION: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of Aqua Dots (Spin Master Ltd.; Toronto, Canada) on November 7, 2007 due to children becoming ill after swallowing beads from these toy craft kits. Reports suggested that the beads contained 1,4-butanediol (1,4-BD), a precursor to gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), rather than the intended, but more expensive 1,5-pentanediol (1,5-PD). We measured the 1,4-BD and 1,5-PD content of Aqua Dots beads to determine if 1,5-PD had been completely substituted with 1,4-BD by the manufacturer, and if the reported clinical effects from swallowing Aqua Dots beads were consistent with the estimated ingested 1,4-BD dose.
METHODS: In vitro bench research using gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) was performed. Dilute samples of pure 1,4-BD and 1,5-PD in water were used for the calibration of the GC-MS instrument. We then soaked Aqua Dots beads in water for varying durations, and the resultant solutions were analyzed for 1,4-BD and 1,5-PD content.
RESULTS: Aqua Dots beads weighed 79.3 mg each (+/- 0.6 mg, SD), and contained 13.7% (+/- 2.4%, SD) 1,4-BD by weight; this corresponds to a 1,4-BD content of 10.8 mg (+/- 1.9 mg, SD) per bead. No 1,5-PD was detected in any beads.
CONCLUSIONS: Aqua Dots beads contained a surprisingly high amount (nearly 14%) of extractable 1,4-BD. No 1,5-PD was detected, corroborating reports that this chemical had been completely replaced with a substitute that is metabolized into GHB after ingestion. Reports of ataxia, vomiting, seizure activity, and self-limited coma in children are consistent with the ingestion of several dozen Aqua Dots beads.
Jeffrey Suchard; Sergey Nizkorodov; Stacy Wilkinson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of medical toxicology : official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology     Volume:  5     ISSN:  1556-9039     ISO Abbreviation:  J Med Toxicol     Publication Date:  2009 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-08-05     Completed Date:  2009-10-30     Revised Date:  2013-07-31    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101284598     Medline TA:  J Med Toxicol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  120-4     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, Orange, CA, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Ataxia / chemically induced
Butylene Glycols / adverse effects,  analysis*,  pharmacokinetics
Coma / chemically induced
Consumer Product Safety
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / standards
Glycols / analysis
Play and Playthings*
Seizures / chemically induced
Sodium Oxybate / adverse effects,  metabolism
Vomiting / chemically induced
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Butylene Glycols; 0/Glycols; 07UXZ0SCST/1,5-pentanediol; 502-85-2/Sodium Oxybate; 7XOO2LE6G3/1,4-butanediol

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