Toxic substance coating toy cheaper than chemical originally meant to be used.
The toy beads were supposed to use 1,5-pentanediol, a non-toxic compound found in glue, but instead contained 1,4-butanediol which is much cheaper.
China’s product safety watchdog had already suspended the export of the toys suspected of containing toxic substances.
“The coating on the beads that causes the beads to stick to each other when water is added contains a chemical that can turn toxic when many are ingested,” the commission said in a statement.
The Xinhua news agency quoted safety officials as saying production of the toys had been outsourced to a factory in Shenzhen by a Hong Kong company that was an agent of Moose Enterprises, the Australian-based maker of the toys.
Companies worldwide have increasingly outsourced manufacturing, often choosing Chinese factories for their cost and quality.
China exports 60 per cent of the world’s toys, totaling $22 billion overseas sales in 2006.