A Massachusetts girl suffered third-degree burns on her hands after concocting homemade "slime" (video below).
Kathleen Quinn, 11, said her hands felt "really hot and tingly" after she mixed the glue, water and Borax, CBS News reported. "She was crying in pain," her mother explained.
Kathleen's parents drove her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with second- and third-degree burns, which doctors blamed on Borax exposure.
Spurred by the proliferation of slime videos on social media since mid-2016, homemade slime has become a national fad among young people, reports the Daily Mail.
Sales for liquid glue more than doubled in the last weeks of 2016, according to Newell Brands, the maker of the Elmer's Glue. "Glitter, slime, clear slime, sequin slime, glow-in-the-dark slime, puffy slime and metallic slime are just a few of the gooey concoctions to surprise us," said an Elmer's spokesperson.
In a statement to ABC, Consumer Reports warned of the improper use of Borax, noting that it "is meant to be a household cleaner or an additive for your laundry. Just because you have it around, just because it seems to be perfectly safe for those types of applications doesn't mean it should be used in anything else, particularly household slime."
The Centers for Disease Control says that borax "irritates the eyes, the skin and the respiratory tract. The substance may cause effects on the central nervous system, kidneys and liver, when ingested. The effects may be delayed. ... Repeated or prolonged contact with skin may cause dermatitis. Animal tests show that this substance possibly causes toxic effects upon human reproduction."
In fact, as ABC notes, Borax actually comes with a warning on its label to keep out of reach of children.
Yet the fad continues, reports Mother Nature Network. As one slime fanatic says about the slime videos, "They're so gooey and soothing. I saw one on Tumblr that was reposted by a store on Instagram in Thailand. I was so intrigued about it's gooey texture [that] I had the urge to look for more."
As reported by the Mother Nature Network, other such comments include:
- "Why is this so relaxing?"
- "I can't stop watching."
- "This makes me feel so weird."
- "I thought this was ice cream."
- "This is my life now."
Typical slime videos include poking, prodding, stretching and folding the substance, often creating popping and squishing noises in the process, which allegedly accounts for its strange allure. See for yourself in the footage below.