November 8, 2007

Aqua Dots toy metabolizes into the date rape drug!

You've got to give the Chinese credit for innovation when it comes to making dangerous toys. This is truly bizarre.


Joan said...

Just gave some to my daughter for her birthday last weekend. Sheesh.

Cedarford said...

Excellent! I give it a couple of days before the single bars market "aqua dot shots" for willing customers. In gay and straight clubs.

Aqua dots. Not just for kid's fun!

Love the Chinese and the Bush/Dem globalists. Making shopping for food, pet food, and toys into an adventure. While gutting the American economy and our scientific-industrial base.

Drew W said...

So 20-month-old Jacob Esses supposedly appeared “drunk” to his mother after swallowing some Aqua Dots. I say the kid used the Aqua Dots as a smokescreen to conceal his worsening drinking problem from that snooping mom. Well played, little Jacob!

AllenS said...

The Chinese keep giving Hillary! large sums of money, and the masses get Aqua Dots. Life sometimes just isn't fair.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

Simon said...

You ever get the feeling that between incidents involving poisoning our pets and incidents involving poisoning our children, at a certain point this starts to seem too little of a coincidence for comfort?

MadisonMan said...

Why does anyone buy stuff from China?

Trooper York said...

I knew that toys from China were dangerous ever since when Mary Ann Mogdinelli refused to lick my GI Joe in Sacred Hearts schoolyard in 1965. But we did do some interesting things with the glue smells from our Aurora model kits of classic cars. The smell always got us a little woozy and happy. Good Times.

Pogo said...

I have thought the same thing.

But when the choice is between stupid-and-lazy or evil-criminal, stupid is often the right one. Here, it's an economy emerging from a communist past, where people pretended to work and their bosses pretended to pay them and they pretended to make things in Great Quantities for the Glory Of Beloved Leader.

But fakery only extends to the border.

Can you imagine buying a Chinese car? Do you suppose they just put that GBH stuff in their own water supply?

Simon said...

Pogo - a point otherwise known as Hanlon's Razor.

rhhardin said...

Maybe the Chinese will bring back Testor's Quick Drying Airplane Glue!

I didn't sniff it, but it was great fun spreading on your fingertips and peeling off.

Like instant sunburn peel.

Maxine Weiss said...

Cedarford: Do you know your history? China has been an enemy of the United Stated for approximately 75 years.

Some people naively think the Cold War is over.

Both the USSR and China are still the enemies they always were.

Funny how people are just now figuring out about China.

Beth said...

Simon and Pogo, I tend to agree on the theory that stupid is a more likely explanation than venal. But it still boggles the mind to consider how exactly one ends up with GHB or whatever in a textile? And who in the world is still manufacturing lead paint? And why grind up melamine and put it in food? If I were of a more Byzantine mindset, I'd wonder if it's not an intricate plan to shake China's place in the world economy.

Zeb Quinn said...

a point otherwise known as Hanlon's Razor.

But the ChiComs aren't stupid, and we know that they are furtive, treacherous, and sly. So where does that leave us?

reader_iam said...

But it still boggles the mind to consider how exactly one ends up with GHB or whatever in a textile?

My understanding is that it's not that GHB per se is in the material, but rather than a particular chemical breaks down into that when ingested, which is a slightly different thing, though obviously not in effect.

I do note that Althouse's post title reflects this, but thought I'd clarify anyway.


We threw away a third of a deep-freezer-full of vegetarian "meat" ordered over the internet earlier this year, in the wake of the melamine scare. No taking chances. And pretty much no buying of anything made in China, to the degree it can be avoided, which of course isn't entirely possible (even to know, really).

Vote with your pocketbook!

Pogo said...

Simon: it's a long time since I ran across the quote by General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord. What a great summary.

I think the Chinese were neither stupid nor treacherous, they just thought we were stupid. I remember reading that street vendors in China selling noodles and soup are known to insert sawdust to add bulk. I think it's along the same lines.

Where Stalin's institutionalized crimes were the forerunner of todays Russian mafia, the Chinese are still operating factories under a short-horizon, success-at-any-cost approach to business. It was the corrupt sales of mercantilism best known in the bazaar, characterized by low-trust and dishonest dealings, buyer beware, and the absence of return shoppers.

Not until Western businesses discovered fairness in exchanges as being a religious demand did capitalism succeed.

Hector Owen said...

Pogo, that sounds about right. From the linked article:

The toys were supposed to use 1,5-pentanediol, a nontoxic compound found in glue, but instead contained the harmful 1,4-butanediol, which is widely used in cleaners and plastics....there is a significant difference in price between the two chemicals. The Chinese online trading platform ChemNet China lists the price of 1,4 butanediol at between about $1,350-$2,800 per metric ton, while the price for 1,5-pentanediol is about $9,700 per metric ton.

This looks a lot like the TD glycerine problem from a year ago: Wikipedia, NY Times. The Times piece is very long, but ends with this:

The factory had called its syrup “TD” glycerin. The letters TD were in virtually all the shipping documents. What did TD mean?

Spanish medical authorities concluded that it stood for a manufacturing process. Chinese inspectors thought it was the manufacturer’s secret formula.

But Yuan Kailin, a former salesman for the factory , said he knew what the TD meant because a friend and former manager of the factory, Ding Yuming, had once told him. TD stood for the Chinese word “tidai” (pronounced tee-die), said Mr. Yuan, who left his job in 1998 and still lives about a mile from the factory.

In Chinese, tidai means substitute. A clue that might have revealed the poison, the counterfeit product, was hiding in plain sight.

It was in the product name.

Cheaper ingredients ⇒ more profit, till you're caught.

Joe said...

China has been an enemy of the United Stated for approximately 75 years.

2007 - 1949 = 58

Hector Owen said...

Chinese capitalism is still in the "cutthroat" stage. They need a translation of P.T. Barnum's The Art of Money-Getting:

You may advertise a spurious article, and induce many people to call and buy it once, but they will denounce you as an impostor and swindler, and your business will gradually die out and leave you poor. This is right. Few people can safely depend upon chance custom. You all need to have your customers return and purchase again.

Hazy Dave said...

I've got a pretty good idea which of our Commenteers are going to be sifting through the dumpster behind Toys R Us tonight...

lurker2209 said...

Well, this is the first time reading Althouse has given me material for teaching my organic chemistry quiz sections. The distinction between 1,4-butandiol and 1,5-pentanediol can actually harm you. Thanks Ann!

Revenant said...

While gutting the American economy and our scientific-industrial base.

We cannot allow an Aqua Dot Gap!

Revenant said...

There's actually an important lesson here, and it isn't "halp teh Chineez are coming to get us!!11!".

The lesson is that, despite decades of experience and gazillions of dollars... the government's network of regulations, safety inspections, et al, sucks. Companies can still produce poisonous products and sell them to kids. The role of government bureaucrats in this is pretty much just to sit around looking stupid and spending my money.

What caught the problems? Private citizens. What's the upshot of getting caught? The people who did it are losing a LOT of money -- as is their whole country, really, since every time one of these scandals hits people buy that many fewer Chinese products.

All in all, an excellent example of why markets work and government regulatory schemes generally don't.

Simon said...

Zeb Quinn said...
"But the ChiComs aren't stupid...."

Sounds like a Cook County telephone company!

Blake said...

And why grind up melamine and put it in food?

How else am I to treat my African Trypanosomiasis.

Jim said...

FWIW, any reference to the "break down" of 1,4-butanediol is metaphorically incorrect. Gamma hydroxy-butyrate is produced from the oxidation of 1,4-BD from an alcohol to the carboxylic acid. That is, the liver does chemistry upon the molecule.

The process is not a degradation (that is, the molecule being taken apart like your stomach takes apart a chicken breast or your cells take sucrose apart.) Chemists tend to refer to oxidation as an "up" process while reduction (loss of oxygen) as a "down", metaphorically.

You heard it here first.

Jennifer said...

Reader - Feeling about the same way these days. We boycotted China for years back in our hippier days. It was a royal pain in the arse. And this time around it will be a royal pain in the arse minus the warm fuzzy ooh-we're-helping-free-Tibet feelings.

tom said...

"Date-rape" ? What's that ? A woman complaining after she enjoyed herself but was seen by someone else doing so ?
But a "date-rape" drug isn't playing fair. BUT it is all a result of feminism gone wild leading men to do whatever they please... no rules at all; "when nothing is forbidden, everything becomes doable", a paraphrase of philosopher John Rawls.
See below -posted elsewhere:
Below you'll find what I posted above at about #40. The reason I post it again (about #60) is to illustrate how bad off we as a country -a world- are. Feminism has destroyed any backbone in men whatsoever.
No one has commented on the fact that I have posited the near complete revision of civil rights in the USA -and the world. Because feminism has made pansies, wimps,
faggots and worse out of all men in our once great country.
Yesterday I met a Sunni iman from Lahore,Pakistan in Yonkers who could probably beat any one of you supposed American men either intellectually or physically because of his determination.
As I see it -because of feminism- no man in America today has any idea what being a man means.
And I call all you "men" perverts, faggots, queers, ass- wipers and worse. America's men today are worse than cursed women/
feminists because they are to lazy even to wipe their own asses.
More to the point, do we (including women) want women anywhere other than at home with -and raising- their own children whom they have borne in their own wombs ?
Who is going to pay for the retire- ment pensions of all the baby- boomers ? Young workers -far less numerous than in 1960s- are already highly taxed. Our politicians are afraid to touch Social Security because they'll not be re-elected.
Public pension plans nation-wide are near bankrupt -and private pensions may be worse off. The die has been cast and the fight is upon us : Inter-generational warfare between all the aging baby-boomers who supported feminist nonsense and young -already excessively taxed- workers. Who do you think will win ? I very much doubt we old-timers will.
And why has this occured/is this occuring ? It is one of the innumerable horrors wrought by feminism, a feminism which said that men and women are equal (such a dastardly lie), that women should work instead of having children, that abortion was a woman's "right" and so much other contemptible nonsense that I couldn't even list here; because life itself has been attacked by a feminism that only embraces death. And that is what Hillary Clinton and her equally foolish husband (whose cockmanship I highly esteem; as Hillary couldn't satisfy him, he found it necessary to get tit elsewhere -so even Hillary has been victimised by feminism) will bring to America and the world if she gets elected.
As to Maxine Weiss, thank-you. And I note that the female genius, once a woman agrees with a man, is to do a him better.


PatCA said...

A friend of mine who collects old costume jewelry recently said she was happy to have found some real Bakelite bracelets, because the Chinese have been flooding the market with fakes! What is with this country anyway?

I wonder what would happen to their boom if they played it straight from now on...