No Necessity To Ban Or Impose Restriction On 'Loom Band'

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 (Bernama) -- The Health Ministry on Friday said there is no necessity to consider any ban or impose restriction for the 'loom band' following the detection of phthalates, a carcinogenic chemical in the product.

Its director general, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that the product was not deemed a toy but marketed as an ornamental or costume jewelery item for older children and young adults.

"However parents are advised to keep the loom band away from any child below the age of 4 years for safety and health reason," he said in a statement on Friday.

He said, according to The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) Australia which had been conducting a risk assesment of the substance, the risk applied to young children of up to 36 months, who might extensively chewed and suck (mouth) an object.

Hence, he said it did not apply to older children or adults, who had less substantial mouth contact with plastic materials that contained phthalates.

He said skin contact with products containing phthalates was also not a safety concern for any age group, including infants.

Last Sunday, Britain's largest independent toy retailer, The Entertainer had the bands removed in 92 stores nationwide after a television programme revealed the bands contained as much as 40 percent phthalates.

Phthalates are substances added to plastic to increase its flexibility, transparency, durability and longevity and it is classified as a Class 3 carcinogen substance but do not bring any harm to humans.


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