Consider me ‘Baff’led

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On Christmas Eve my husband and I were sitting and enjoying some fun conversation with the family when a commercial came on the television that grabbed our attention….

I nearly died from laughter and the need to tell you all about it.

Please, enjoy!

Now you can turn your water into squishy goo! 
Turn your bathtub into a gooey adventure with Squishy Baff!
Environmentally Friendly (LMAO!!!  For real?)
No Artificial Fragrance (What about the color?)
Won’t Clog Drains (Yea, the drain is what concerns me here.  Thanks for clearing that up!)
No Preservatives (I won’t even go here.)
No Irritants (Oh this one is GOLD!)
Make in the UK (Junk made in the UK is apparently better than junk make elsewhere.  Good to know?)
Not Tested on Animals (Oh sweet, so it’s tested on… our kids?)
Bonus point if you already know what this is made of before I tell you….
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.
.
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Yep! It’s Sodium Polyacrylate – a.k.a. The stuff they put in disposable diapers to absorb a baby’s urine.

Sodium Polyacrylate is a polymer that starts out as a powdery substance, when introduced to moisture, it can absorb 400-500 times its own weight.  The FDA has labeled it as GRAS, Generally Recognized As Safe, though I think most of us here can appreciate the fact that the FDA doesn’t always get it right.

*cough*All off the crap in standard products and foods that we have to work to avoid.*cough*
Okay, silliness aside, Sodium Polyacrylate isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s certainly not something you want on your child.  SP is a skin & eye irritant to start with.  Who wants to play in skin & eye irritants?
Did you know that SP was once a component in tampons, but was outlawed due to the substantial increased risk of TSS (want to know more about TSS, visit You-Are-Loved.org).  As I mentioned before, it can also be found in disposable diapers and has been implicated as a contributor to staph infections.  I’m not saying it will cause one, but it could contribute, and staph infections are serious – deathly serious.
According to EWG (Cosmetic Database) SP is classified as expected to be toxic or harmful. It lists an organ toxicity risk due to contamination concerns with Methacrylic Acid, Acrylic Acid & 2-Ethylhexyl Acrylate.  It also lists it as ‘considered safe based on assumption of low absorption’ – keep in mind that they are relating this to the tiny amount found in cosmetic products, not what’s found in a diaper full, nor a ‘baff’tub full.
This product has me half cracking up at the insanity of it all (Honestly, who thinks “Hey this idea is a winner!”?), but more seriously, it has me concerned for parents who may not realize what this product is made from, nor how their child’s skin may react.

I would love to hear your impressions!

Amanda Hearn
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45 Comments

  • i'm sharing this post so hopefully it will save some poor kid from being subjected to swimming in chemical-nastiness!

    • Would you believe me if I said the dissolvant is nothing but sodium chloride…Aka table salt? It is.

  • This is just awful! I haven't seen that commercial, but thank you for posting this. Seriously. I can't believe this is a "product" marketed to kids!

  • By-passing the health aspects for a moment…this totally would creep me out…esp as a kid…I have a thing about textures so does my son.
    As for the health aspects what if a kid gets this stuff in his mouth which is HIGHLY likely!!! {{{{Shudder}}}}

  • that is absolutely disgusting! my little guy loves to lick his bath water and i only use california baby products!

  • Friends of ours were given this as a present, they tried it, and their 2 y/o wouldn't even get in the bath. She was like "what the heck is going on here Mom"?!

    That's pretty nasty, how does this pass health standards?

  • The powder that liquefies it is salt. From many of the reviews I've read, it appears that it doesn't properly dissolve it and many people complain of clogged drains as a result.

  • Wow…that is disgusting. And yeah, salt would simply dehydrate the polymer temporarily to get it down the drain, it would probably rehydrate somewhere in the sewer system. But hey, if it doesn't clog up YOUR drain, who cares, right?

  • Assume everything else went correctly… then, what? We're just supposed to drain the stuff into the ocean? Sounds like a great idea.

    • Yeah that sort of sucks. Though, for the sake of it, it would prolly take a while for something that’s GRAS in most places to be studied long enough to prove out anything conclusive. But it’s a gimmick I guess- kids prolly go gaga over the idea of something mysteriously textured (other than water).

  • What would happen if your child ate this junk?
    got it in their eyes (salt based) OUCH! in their ears, up their nose.?

    Not a good product for our children.

    • Yeah it’s ridiculously extravagant– there’s no reason to put that junk into the water for anything practical.

  • Wow. Thanks for the links to your sources, BTW. Doing a research paper for school on cloth versus disposable diapers. Those will come in handy.

    • I know it won’t matter now, but to anyone reading: some fibers are just naturally able to harbour organisms. Even cotton is susceptible– think about sanitizing that stuff (though I feel sympathy for the environment at large, and that stuff can degrade well). It may remind you of the algae that grows on ropes in natural bodies of water (like the ones that are used to tie off boats). Germs can grow on all sorts of substrates– they do so everywhere and cause untold malaise and devastating disease.

  • I told my daughter we were not going to get it. And I am glad I vetoed it. My concern was the "substance" getting in to my kids private parts. Causing infections such as uti or yeast or any others. Didn't seem like a gamble I wanted to take. Thank goodness I didn't.

    • thank you someone who thought of that horrid outcome. this thing is not safe it is nothing but chemicals in a colorful container. it is not meant for baths a bath is supposed to get a child clean. this does the exact opposite.

  • I have a friend that just warned all of her friends on Facebook about this new product. Her friend’s 5 year old daughter ended up in the hospital for 5 days after using Squishy Baff. The company denies that the incident is related but all signs point to Toxic Shock. Definitely steer clear of this new product!

    • Oh my goodness, I am so sorry to hear that! I know that Sodium Polyacrylate was outlawed in tampons due to rapidly increasing rates of TSS, and it would make sense that for a girl, it could become a risk of playing in a bathtub of SP.

      I would let the parents know, if a physician has not, that once a girl has TSS, for their health and safety, they should never use tampons in the future. I know she’s only 5, but it is worth noting.

      • Caveat emptor. You know people buy household borax and it’s used as a seasoning in the food industry– you can become directly poisoned by eating two grams of it. It’s prudent to realize that our bodies take in minute elements and trace amounts of chemicals often enough that it’s not overtly dangerous, at least ostensibly so– we all know our bodies aren’t infallible.

  • Thank you! My son has been begging for this. I have told him no, mommy has no idea what is in it but it can’t be good. We cloth diaper, but I can now at least tell him it is made of the stuff that most babies pee on. I hope that makes him stop asking!

  • At first I thought this product seemed crazy, but maybe kind of fun.
    The more I look into it, the more creeped out I get.
    I looked up the MSDS
    http://www.hmsmedical.com/images/44-OC%20MSDS.pdf
    They say you need gloves and goggles to handle the powder. And, they do test on animals. Notice, at the bottom, all the of reports of skin, respiratory and other issues noted in the animals.

  • I had the same reaction as you. When I contacted them I received the following, in part…

    “Although we do not have a list of ingredients readily available, we can assure you that there are no hazardous chemicals in this product. Squishy Baff meets and exceeds all North American and International safety standards.”

    Really, they couldn’t tell me that it contains SP? Why not? My kids, thankfully, were absolutely disgusted by the idea of this.

    Glad to find you while looking for info on this horrible idea for a product.

    Paul Maples

    • Great– you’ve instilled into your children an automatic aversion to long, complicated words, and organic chemistry. I hope you gave them a good general idea so they could make an informed decision.

  • Okay sodium polyacrylate is implicated chiefly in the in the increased growth of strep and staph– your kid would have a similar chance of getting TSS from a diaper rash. Idt the product should be defamed on such a loose correlation. If i’m growing lots of staph in my tub, I wouldn’t even immerse a kid in it. Plus it might be a helpful tool to satisfy a young child’s interest in textures. It seems cool to me. Just saying buyer beware.

  • My daughter had a seizure while bathing in this poison. We were told product would be taken off shelves, so we did not sue. Liars ate selling sodium polyacrylate, toxic shock syndrome, to our kids!

    • I am so terribly sorry to hear about your daughter and her reaction to this product. I couldn’t believe that this was being marketed in any way shape or form and am sad to know that it is still on the market. It’s dangerous and should be taken off of store shelves.

  • My daughter is the one that was in the hospital after her seizure. Her mother warned as many people as we could including on Facebook. I cannot believe they ate still selling this!!!

  • My 4 year old had hallucinations and seemed drugged after bathing in this… DO NOT USE!!! Scariest day of my life.

    • Jenna, that is absolutely terrifying. It could have been toxic shock (which can cause hallucinations) and can affect boys and men as well. If your child is a girl and that is the case, I would caution strongly against the use of tampons when your daughter comes of age. A previous instance of TSS greatly increases risk with tampon use. TSS is quite serious, hard to recognize and can be fatal as a result.

  • Well I bought this for my 3 kids this Christmas 2012, My 3 year old had to be convinced by mom (That’s me) to get in but the other 2 kids ~ 6 & 8 got in just fine. Once in they did not want to get out the 3 year old actually was the last to get out 1 HOUR later. All my kids have sensitive and dry skin, 1 has Ecema even and it did not break them out in hives or rashes or anything (thank you God) but they had a BLAST! so much so that I ended up in there after they begged me so much… I have to say that it was delightful not just the feel of it, but watching them, and creating that amazing memory. I kept thinking if I only would have done this when i was 6 years old with my siblings/parents 🙂 Ok ok I get it, it’s not very friendly or safe for every day use, but it was a fantastic moment in my motherly watching days…. They grow fast and I try to savor these types of moments and I did! I dont think any of us will ever forget it :)!!!!! I loved it!:)
    Maria (from Miami) Peace out!

  • This is so disturbing on so many levels!! As someone with extreme sensitivity to chemicals, I can’t imagine putting a kid in this garbage. Really hope they take it off the market!

  • Are you sure it’s sodium polyacrylate? It could be sodium alginate, which does exactly the same thing, but it’s just seaweed extract, so not only is it safe, but super healthy. I guess if the stuff they are selling in toy stores is a chemical you don’t feel comfortable with you could try diy-ing it with alginate instead since the stuff is pretty easy to get your hands on, and seaweeds have so many health benefits for the body and skin.

    p.s. salt doesn’t dehydrate this stuff, salt breaks down the bonds of a polymer and that is why it won’t hold water anymore, and never will again. These products seem like a great idea for teaching kids (and some parents) about chemistry in a fun way.

  • Chill guys, I used this stuff plenty as a kid, I’m fine. Y’all act like you’re making your kid sit in toxic waste!

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