November 8, 2007
Anatomy of a Recall
The NYT has a fascinating story about how an Australian physician figured out the problem with "Bindeez" beads -- a toy that, when ingested, metabolizes to GHB (the banned date rape drug). As Consumerist puts it, the story reads like an episode of House.
(My dad, a retired electrochemist, suggests that the problem is likely the "diphthalate ester of the butanediol" -- i.e., related to phtalates, a plasticizer used ubiquitously. He continues: "I suspect the same enzyme system that converts ethanol to acetate would convert the butanediol to [GHB].")
Foreseeable? Should've tested?
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