Banned chemicals in loom bands
One of the UK's leading toy stores has taken loom band charms off its shelves after they were found to contain potentially harmful chemicals.
The Entertainer said the charms could contain phthalates, which can disrupt hormones in children.
The chemicals, which are used to soften plastics, have been banned in toys on sale in the European Union for several years.
A spokeswoman for The Entertainer said: "It was brought to our attention today that loom charms purchased from one of our stores may contain phthalates.
"At The Entertainer, children's safety is our number one priority so as a precautionary measure we have removed all loom charms from sale with immediate effect whilst we conduct a full investigation."
She added that any customers who have bought the charms will be offered a full refund or exchange in any of their stores. The craze for loom bands – tiny loops of elastic in different colours that can be linked together to create low-cost jewellery – shows no signs of abating, with the Duchess of Cambridge and pop star Harry Styles seen wearing them.