A popular children’s DIY project – making homemade “slime” – is raising concerns after reports that some people suffered burns from it.
An 11-year-old Massachusetts girl suffered “blistering burns” to her hands in one recent incident, according to People Magazine.
The slime – sometimes called “gak” – is made from a mixture of the household cleaner Borax, Elmer’s glue, and water. However, there are recipes that eliminate the Borax, which is causing some of the problems across the country.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Massachusetts Girl Was ‘Crying in Pain’ & Ended Up in the Hospital
The mother of Kathleen Quinn has gone public with her concerns about the slime.
The Today Show reported that Kathleen “has had to wear splints to straighten her hands and could require surgery if that treatment is not effective,” and her mother thinks it’s from the Borax ingredient in the slime, which was popularized with children after the recipe spread on social media.
“I woke up in the middle of the night and my hands were just all wet and they were sticking together and they were blistered,” the girl told Today.
Doctors say “extended exposure to Borax” caused the child’s injuries, reported CBS News.
According to People Magazine, experts recommend against using Borax to make homemade slime.
2. The Slime Craze Is Sweeping the Nation & Making It Hard to Get Glue in Some Stores
According to the Today Show, the homemade slime craze has spread throughout the United States, with some students selling the goop, which can be made in different colors and somewhat has the consistency of silly putty.
People sometimes add glitter, beads and other items to their slime, reported Today.
According to CBS News, “It’s become so popular, liquid glue sales rose during the second half of 2016, and during the last four weeks of the year they more than doubled.”
3. Borax Is Generally Used as a Household Cleaner to Dissolve Grime
Most slime recipes call for a combination of Borax, Elmer’s glue, and water. According to Forbes Magazine, Borax is “an alkaline substance that dissolves dirt and grime and also cleans by converting some water to hydrogen peroxide.”
Forbes reports that “extended exposure to the substance” can “dissolve the keratin layer of one’s skin, similar to how one’s hands feel slimy when working with bleach. If not washed off completely, the borax can then damage the underlying skin.”
Borax that is not properly dissolved is more dangerous, according to People Magazine.
4. A Girl in England Suffered Similar Hand Burns
The Massachusetts child is not the only youth to report burns from the DIY recipe.
Deejay Jemmett, 10, an English schoolgirl, was “referred to a plastic surgeon after making playground craze ‘unicorn slime’ also known as ‘rainbow slime’ or ‘tie-dye slime,’” reported the Manchester Evening News.
The girl’s mother posted an extensive warning on Facebook to alert other parents to issues with the slime.
The newspaper called the slime craze the biggest child fad since Rainbow Looms.
5. It’s Possible to Make Homemade Slime Without Borax
You can find recipes on the Internet for making the homemade slime without Borax. Sciencing reports you can make it with water, food coloring, and corn starch instead.
Other recipes call for glue, water, and salt. Homemade slime should only be made with parental supervision.
People Magazine reports that slime can be made with food products instead of chemicals; people have made the goo with potato starch, sugar and food coloring, or have substituted salt, Nutella and marshmallows for the cleaners.