Toxic tests on loom bands on sale in Wales

Looms bands for sale in Wales are being tested to see if they contain harmful levels of toxic chemicals.

Trading Standards are awaiting test results on loom bands. Credit: Carmarthenshire Trading Standards

Carmarthenshire's Trading Standards says it's awaiting test results and warning parents to be careful when purchasing the bright coloured elastic bands that are popular with children all over the world.

Thousands of children have become hooked on the loom band craze, making bracelets, necklaces and trinkets either using their fingers or a plastic loom to twist and link them together.

Trading Standards are concerned about cheap imported bands. Credit: PA

Trading Standards says it has found a number of bands, particularly of cheap or low quality, that have been bought locally and do not comply with the Toy Safety Regulations 2011 in terms of labelling and warnings.

A number have been sent for chemical analysis, with particular concern that they may contain toxic levels of phthalates – a substance which is used to make plastic safer and pliable, but is strictly controlled as they can migrate from plastic into the body if it comes into contact with saliva or sweat.

We do not want to spoil anybody’s fun, especially since this craze is encouraging wonderful creativity, but we also don’t want to see anyone come to any harm.

We are advising people to only buy loom bands from reputable sellers, and to look for a UK distributor's address on the packaging as well as a CE mark.

For obvious reasons we’re also advising parents to ensure that children do not put these loom bands in their mouths

– Cllr Jim Jones, Carmarthenshire County Council