LA REPUBBLICA, CORIERRE DELLA SERA (Italy)
LA SPEZIA - Sounds like a classic recipe for summer fun: little kids, bubbles, ice cream cones....Chinese bacteria?
A huge stock of allegedly toxic made-in-China bubble soap toys has been seized by Italian Police, Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica report. Italian children, to whom the products were aimed, risked being exposed to infections from a so-called "opportunistic" bacterium hidden in the liquid, authorities say.
In late June, a container of 35,214 colorful bubble soap packages, for a total value of 100,000 euros, arrived from China in the northern Italian port of La Spezia. Police seized the toys, which are in the shapes of ice cream cones and billy clubs (see video), and sent them for testing to the Italian Environment Protection Agency.
Results show the bubble soap contained 380,000 times the tolerable upper intake level of the bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause serious infections, Corriere della Sera reports. Other, similar shipments may be in circulation, and Italian authorities recommend anyone who is in possession of objects in these shapes destroy them immediately, or have them tested. The Florentine businessman who'd ordered the toys has been arrested for importing illicit materials.