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Some rubber-band loom products fail safety standards in lab test

These were found to have an excessive amount of phthalates, which are used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. 

SINGAPORE: Five out of eight samples of rubber-band loom products sent to a laboratory here have failed quality standards tests. They were found to have excessive amount of phthalates - more than 0.1 per cent of the safety standards.

Phthalates are used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. Products, especially toys on retail shelves, need to be properly labelled and contain information such as age-restrictions and usage warnings. 

MediaCorp found some rubber-band loom products in several stores do not contain such information and sent them to Insight Laboratories for testing. Some of the products had a strange smell, and an oily texture. Based on laboratory tests, these products are found to be unsafe for use.

Said Mr Joel Tan, Managing Director of Insight Laboratories: "Plasticisers are added to plastics to make them softer. There a wide range of plasticisers out there for industrial purposes. However, six of them are banned in the production of toys. In the samples provided, we found that five of them have failed. Some failed by as much as twice the limit, some failed by up to four times the limit."

SPRING Singapore told MediaCorp that it takes all reports from the public very seriously, and will investigate this matter. If necessary, it will verify the test results, and take appropriate action, which might include issuing a stop-sale notice.