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Archived - Children's Balloon Blowing Kits sold at the Canadian National Exhibition

Starting date:
September 1, 2008
Posting date:
December 31, 2008
Type of communication:
Consumer Product Recall
Childrens' Products, Hobby/Craft Items, Toys
Source of recall:
Health Canada
General Public (GP)
Identification number:

Affected products

Children's Balloon Blowing Kits sold at the Canadian National Exhibition

Product description

These toys typically consist of a solvent mixture in a tube and one or more plastic straws for blowing. Children can form balloons or bubbles by dipping the short straw into the solvent and blowing through the straw.

Hazard identified

Children's balloon blowing kits have been banned in Canada since 1973.

The safety concern is that blowing the balloons exposes a child to inhaling the vapours of any solvents present. Children can be fascinated with these products, and if they blow balloons for extended periods they may experience early symptoms of central nervous system depression or dysfunction, including euphoria, hallucinations, dizziness, and difficulties with coordination of voluntary movements. Prolonged exposure can lead to more serious symptoms including muscular twitching, unconsciousness, and coma.

Health Canada has not received reports of illness or injury to Canadians related to the use of these particular balloon blowing kits.

Number sold

The exact number of the balloon blowing kits sold in Canada is not known.

Time period sold

The balloon blowing kits were sold from August 15, 2008 until August 20, 2008 at three booths within the "International Pavilion" section of the Canadian National Exhibition in the area identified as "Products of Philippines".


Various vendors at the Canadian National Exhibition

Images (select thumbnail to enlarge - opens in a new window)

What you should do

Consumers should immediately take these balloon blowing kits away from children. They should be safely disposed of in regular household trash in such a way that they cannot be reused.

For more information, consumers may visit the following links at Health Canada's Web site: Health Canada Urges the Public to Discard Children's Balloon Blowing Kits and Consumer Product Safety: Toys and Toy Boxes.