In 2012 some children developed sepsis after playing together with a soap bubble toy. Microbiological testing revealed heavy contamination of the soap solution, which reasonably represented the vehicle of infection. We investigated the issue with a multidisciplinary approach: review of toy safety legislation; microbiological testing of additional samples; query of the RAPEX database for noncompliant soap bubbles; identification of major manufacturing districts. Microbiological contamination of industrial soap bubbles was widespread. Sixty-three notifications of batches contaminated by environmental microorganisms and opportunistic pathogens had been reported. The Chinese had a virtual monopoly of the soap bubble market. We identified two main manufacturing districts in Guangdong Province, both notable for degradation of their water resources. The use of untreated water for the industrial production of soap bubbles may explain the bacterial contamination. Existing legislation provides an unsatisfactory approach for managing microbiological hazards in sensitive toy categories and for identifying responsible parties in import and export of the products.

Child toy safety: An interdisciplinary approach to unravel the microbiological hazard posed by soap bubbles

AMORUSO, IRENE;BERTONCELLO, CHIARA;CARAVELLO, GIANUMBERTO;GIACCONE, VALERIO;BALDOVIN, TATJANA
2015

Abstract

In 2012 some children developed sepsis after playing together with a soap bubble toy. Microbiological testing revealed heavy contamination of the soap solution, which reasonably represented the vehicle of infection. We investigated the issue with a multidisciplinary approach: review of toy safety legislation; microbiological testing of additional samples; query of the RAPEX database for noncompliant soap bubbles; identification of major manufacturing districts. Microbiological contamination of industrial soap bubbles was widespread. Sixty-three notifications of batches contaminated by environmental microorganisms and opportunistic pathogens had been reported. The Chinese had a virtual monopoly of the soap bubble market. We identified two main manufacturing districts in Guangdong Province, both notable for degradation of their water resources. The use of untreated water for the industrial production of soap bubbles may explain the bacterial contamination. Existing legislation provides an unsatisfactory approach for managing microbiological hazards in sensitive toy categories and for identifying responsible parties in import and export of the products.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3170214
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