Looming crisis: Five good reasons to avoid loom bands

Rainbow loom is a plastic loom used to weave colourful rubber bands into bracelets and charms. Loom bands are the latest must-have for kids, and the craze has gone global. Potentially this could have dire consequences for children's health, pets, wildlife and the environment.

1. Recent testing has found that loom bands can contain high levels of cancer-causing phthalates, which are hormone-disrupting chemicals used as softeners in the production of plastic.

2. Bright colours are often associated with food in nature. Marine animals could ingest loom bands and choke. Rubber bands have been known to get caught on the necks of animals and cause them to suffocate, or wrap around limbs and cause severe distress and ultimately death.

3. Loom bands have been eaten by household pets causing choking and resulting in costly vet bills.

4. Washed into drains and watercourses millions of lost loom bands pose a severe marine pollution threat.

Credit: Newquay Beachcoming

5. Loom bands cannot be recycled.