Slime is the rage amongst kids. Unfortunately, while there are many ways to make slime, many commercially available slime is made by mixing sodium borate or borax with water. The resultant gooey substance might be fun to play with but is not without health risks to children. Slime made from Borax may contain high levels of Boron. Though in trace amounts Boron is a mineral which plays an important role in human and plant metabolism, and in large amounts it is detrimental to our health. Some homemade and commercially available slime produced from Borox have up to four times the safe level of boron. If a child ingests slime containing Boron they may get toxic levels of boron in their blood which can cause seizures, diarrhea and even impaired fertility later in life. In addition, there are recent reports of irritant contact dermatitis on the hands of children after playing with slime made from Borax. If the level of sodium borate or Boron is high enough in the slime it can actually cause burns on your child’s skin.
To avoid the boron problem parents have started avoiding the Borax but mistakenly use other potentially dangerous products to make homemade slime. Some utilize laundry detergent and glue. Occasionaly this too has been reported to cause irritant and allergic contact dermatitis from preservatives such as isothiazolinones (MCI/MI) or fragrances.
This type of hand dermatitis is often on the fingertips, the finger skin closest to the plams, and the spaces between the fingers and the palms. Also suspect this type of dermatitis if it is especially prominent on your child’s dominant hand. As an aside, there are recent case reports of contact dermatitis on children’s hands from “noisy putty” such as Flarp or Blup, again from the preservative as isothiazolinones (MCI/MI).
There is even a chain of children’s entertainment centers where children can make their own slime, called the slime factory. See https://theslimefactory.com/ They seem to have problems with slime allergic reactions as it states on their website, “We do not use borax powder in any of our slime recipes. We use school and non hazardous household ingredients. Although our ingredients are not hazardous, they might cause allergic reactions. If your child has sensitive skin, allergies, or asthma, we do not recommend this activity. We also do not recommend it if the child has any cuts or open wounds. We do provide protective gear: lab coats, protective glasses, and gloves. And we also have emergency eye wash and first aid kit available.”
If your kids are wild about slime and you are searching for a safe alternative, there are recipes available for natural slime using cornstarch, chia seeds and gelatin.
Check here for some interesting safe recipes for your kids. https://coolmompicks.com/blog/2017/03/02/natural-safe-homemade-slime-recipes-no-borax/