Aqua Dots, the popular children's toy manufactured by Australia-based Moose Enterprises and manufactured in China, has been pulled from shelves following a reccomendation from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The toy is basically a set of beads that can be arranged into whatever shape the child likes and then fused together by spraying them with water. Unfortunately, when ingested, the chemical compound coating the outside of the beads becomes a common date rape drug, gamma hydroxy butyrate. This drug, made from readily available ingredients, induces drowsiness, unconsciousness, seizures, comas, and death.
A mother in Arkansas, Shelby Esses, determined Aqua Dots were the problem with her child when he fell down and was limp after getting into his sister's set. So far, 6 different children have been hospitalized following eating Aqua Dots. Two in the United States went into "unresponsive, comatose" conditions but have since recovered. The toys have been pulled from shelves in North America and Australia so far. Stores of the toys have been seized in Hong Kong and are undergoing testing. If the results return and find the chemical on the toys, suppliers of the toy could face a year in jail and a hefty fine.
This is just the latest in a series of recalls featuring toys made in China. Earlier in the year, Mattel Inc. recalled millions of toys once it became known many had tested positive for lead paint. Those recalls included accessories for Barbie and her friends.
Basically the problem is that one chemical that is non-toxic was substituted for a much cheaper toxic chemical in the factories that make Aqua Dots.