Introduction to the Toxic Hazards of Glow Sticks

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Glow sticks are a popular favorite item among children. Especially in the summer nights, with colorful glow stick bracelets and necklaces, children’s enthusiasm and excitement can make the night extra mesmerizing. At the same time, many parents naturally worry when buying glow sticks.

What is in glow sticks? Do they have any toxicity?

The ASTM and EN71 reports from the United States and Europe and the USprovide some tips that you can subtract from your worries that your child is not harmed when using this toy. In fact glow sticks are overall beneficial to safety at night time as long as they are used properly. Glow stick bracelets and necklaces should also avoid excessive repeated bending, after all, there is a limit to how much the plastic tube can bend.
Glow sticks look rather inconspicuous until you use them. But when you activate them, they will produce a bright light.

What exactly is in a glow stick?

The main chemical components are as follows.

1. Dimethyl phthalate

They have the largest proportion in the glow stick, and they are the main carrier of the glow stick. The fluorescent stick liquid you see is mainly them.

2. Hydrogen peroxide solution
Hydrogen peroxide solutions are usually dissolved in dimethyl phthalate solution through a co-solvent, and they are clear liquids stored in plastic tubes around the glass ampoules.

3. Phenyl oxalate and dye mixture
Phenyl oxalate and dye mixture solution is stored in a glass ampoule. When the glow stick is broken, this mixed solution and dimethyl phthalate solution containing hydrogen peroxide solution mix and react and produce light, also called chemiluminescence.

Glow sticks are safe, but what are the recommendations for buying glow sticks?

In general any glow sticks purchased in Europe and the United States online stores are safe. Small children should be watched by adults when using them to avoid breakage is a danger. As well as some accessories may bring choking hazards.

We mentioned earlier that dimethyl phthalate is used in glow sticks, but there are still factories using dibutyl phthalate to produce glow sticks to get price advantage and luminous effect. Although they are both plasticizers, dibutyl phthalate has been banned in Europe and the US. But there are still many Chinese factories using them. Because they are allowed in the vast majority of non-European and American countries, including China itself, these products are sold by small sellers on various platforms such as Alibaba, Dunhuang, etc. Naturally, there is a very high risk that unknown buyers will buy such products. There are also some new entrants to Europe and the United States businessmen, they do not know the doorway inside, as well as do not understand the safety requirements of such products from China to import cheap glow stick products, precisely so will bring the danger.

Glow sticks and other glow products do not pose a serious acute risk to children. Each person’s skin or eye contact with the liquid will cause a different level of irritation. In most cases, medical attention is not required. Wash exposed skin with soap and water. If eyes are exposed, rinse with water. Children may also experience stomach upset if they accidentally ingest glow sticks.

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