All swim, no play : you have plans to take your kids to a water park

All swim, no play

If this summer, you have plans to take your kids to a water park or to a beach destination, make sure there are no inflatable toys and swimming aids around them. Beach balls and arm bands among other products, claims a study, may have potentially hazardous substances that can put your child at the risk of cancer.

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A new study reveals findings of tests done by researchers from Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Germany. The tests were conducted using an inflatable beach ball, a pair of swimming armbands and two bathing rings. A small piece of material from each sample was analysed. It was concluded that the inflatable objects were all made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

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Later, researchers then investigated the molecular make-up of the distinctive smells arising from pool toys. From each sample, the researchers extracted detectable odours and then identified the main odorants. In all, 32 and 46 odours in each sample were detected and of these, up to 13 were quite intense.

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A majority of these odorants were identified and among these were several fatty smelling mono-or di-unsaturated carbonyl compounds but also odour-active organic solvents such as cyclohexanone, isophorone and phenol. Cyclohexanone can be harmful if inhaled, phenol is known to be acutely toxic and isophorone is a category 2 carcinogen, which means that it is a suspect substance in the development of cancer in humans.

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