Glowing lollipop sticks deadly for children

Glowing lollipop sticks deadly for children

Penang, MALAYSIA - Penang consumers want lollipop glow sticks with liquid chemicals to be banned.

These lollipop sticks glow in the dark, making them an instant hit with the children.

But these novelty candies, sold in mini-markets and by vendors near schools in Penang, allegedly contain highly toxic chemicals.

They come in various colours and are being sold for RM6 (S$2.50) for two dozen sticks.

But the chemicals that make the sticks glow are toxic, New Straits Times reported. The danger is that children can ingest the harmful substances while sucking on the lollipops if there are leaks.

Now, the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) has urged the health ministry to ban the sale of these candies immediately.

A survey by CAP found that the lollipops were popular among children.

CAP president S.M. Mohamed Idris said: "Even though there is no indication of the country of origin, we were told that they are being produced in China. The box also carries a non-approved halal logo."

Mr Idris said Vietnam banned the product in 2010.

"Health enforcement units should confiscate these products before any untoward incident happens," he said.

He added: "Tests conducted by the National Institute for Testing Food Hygiene and Safety under the Health Ministry of Vietnam showed that the sticks contain phthalate and poly-aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)."

The former is a substance that is used in the manufacturing of PVC plastics. When ingested, it can cause kidney or liver damage. PAH are extremely toxic chemicals.

Mr Idris said: "(They are) usually used for industrial purposes like diluting paint. It can cause cancer or gene mutation in humans."

He said, according to the wrapper, the product was being distributed by a company based in Penang and that the CAP had no idea whether it was a manufacturer or distributor.

This article was first published inĀ The New Paper.

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