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The Los Angeles County Health Officer is warning consumers about possible health hazards associated with "Seven Color Crystal Bolls", a product sold at many discount stores. This product contains multi-colored beads that expand up to four times their original size when immersed in water (see photo). These items are designed for use as a plant watering mechanism, and are not meant to be eaten.
"This product grows to marble-size, and becomes slippery after immersion in water. It becomes a choking hazard when placed in the mouth," said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer. "If swallowed, these products may expand in the airway, stomach, or intestines, and can create a medical emergency."
Parents should be advised that it has been reported to the Department of Public Health that children have placed this product in their mouths, or in plastic water bottles, where the product may be accidentally ingested. If the product is ingested, seek medical attention immediately. "Seven Color Crystal Bolls" is an imported product with unlisted ingredients, and the toxicity of this product is unknown at this time.
Any product that is designed for plants should never be eaten or placed in the mouth. Vendors and shop owners who stock this product should not sell it with food.
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000 employees and an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health and the work we do, please visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.