Foam toys come in all shapes, sizes, designs, and colors, which make them very appealing to young children.
And because these popular toys are cheap, parents don't mind adding more pieces to their child's foam collection. Besides, they're super cute and oftentimes are great decorative pieces.
While it's fun to squish these toys like a stress ball, a recent study has found that these toys contain high levels of harmful, cancer-causing chemicals.
This is especially worrisome for young children who like to chew on the toy.
After concerns over the toys' strong scent, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency conducted tests on 12 squishies and found that every single one contained chemicals that can lead to liver damage, breathing problems, infertility and eye irritation.
The high concentration of substances like dimethylformamide, styrene, and toluene can lead to both short-term and long-term health problems.
It's important to keep in mind that the products tested were purchased at various locations, such as toy stores, smaller shops, and foreign online shops.
"When all twelve toys contain high amounts of harmful substances, alarm bells begin to go off. This indicates that there may be an overall problem with all squishies," Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, the Danish minister for environment and health, said in a press release.
These findings were so shocking that the Danish government banned these toys.
“The toy industry is responsible for ensuring that the products they sell are legal and do not contain harmful chemicals,” Ellemann-Jensen added.
“I think all distributors and importers should take their responsibility seriously and remove all squishies from their shelves. They should not be returned to shelves until it can be documented that they do not emit chemicals that may be harmful to children."
In light of this startling discovery, other countries don't seem to be too worried.
Toy Industries of Europe reviewed these findings and reported that the risk of exposure was "unreasonably overstated."
These findings comes only a few months after a nine-year-old girl suffered chemical burns after a squishy toy burst in her hands.
"I got up on Sunday morning to her screaming in pain. The purpose of the toy is to squeeze it but it burst and went all round her hand, two fingers on one and one on the other," Lisa Marie, the young girl's mother, told Belfast Live in May.
Marie noted that the product wasn't bought off the internet.
"If it had got on her face or in her eyes it would have been so much worse. It seemed quite corrosive and I don't know what's in it. You buy these toys and you think they will have been extensively tested but you just don't know," she added.