The Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee will consider legislation (A5366) that places a ban on the sale of Water Beads in New Jersey. The often brightly-colored polymer beads have the ability to absorb many times their original weight in water, expanding rapidly from a tiny bead into a large, water-filled marble that can be used as a decorative addition to a vase of flowers, and have been previously marketed as toys for children.
Unfortunately, the beads can look like candy to young children, and if ingested, can expand rapidly and cause a serious, potentially-fatal intestinal blockage. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a warning about the product, after tragic reports of babies and toddlers dying after ingesting the beads, and NJ Congressman Frank Pallone announced last month that he would file legislation for a nationwide ban. If signed into law, A5366 would assess stiff penalites on anyone caught selling or distributing water beads in NJ: a $10,000 fine for the first offense, and up to $20,000 for any subsequent offense.
A5366, sponsored by Assemblyman Herb Conaway Jr. (who is also a doctor of internal medicine), will be heard on Monday, December 11th at 2pm in the Assembly Health Committee. If you would like to express your support for the bill’s passage, email Assemblyman Conaway at email@example.com