Consumer group Choice has tested 20 different sour lolly products and found their acid levels all fall in the danger zone for tooth enamel. Choice said the candies’ prolonged contact with teeth, tongue and gums is likely to cause burns, ulceration, bleeding and long-term dental damage.
“We tested the acid levels of sour lollies following Facebook reports that a number of children had received burns to their tongues and gums after consuming the products,” said Choice head of media Tom Godfrey.
“Obviously you don’t expect lollies to be healthy, but you also don’t expect them to harm your child. The side-effects of extremely acidic lollies could be more than you’d bargained for. Sucking and holding highly acidic lollies against your tongue, cheeks or gums for extended periods of time might cause soft tissue damage,” Godfrey said.
Choice’s acid test found every sour lolly tested had a pH of less than 3.3 – a pH of 5.5 or less is the danger zone for enamel erosion.
“When you consider stomach acid has a pH of about one, sucking on TNT Mega Sour Grenade (pH 1.83) and Brain Licker Sour Candy Drink (pH 1.94) could seem less appealing.
“Toxic Waste Sour Smog Balls (pH 2.3) and Warheads Juniors Extreme Sour (pH 2.39) were also highly acidic, as was Toxic Waste Hazardously Sour Candy (pH 2.3) that challenges kids to keep the lollies in their mouths for up to 60 seconds to be crowned a ‘full toxic head’.
“Somewhat alarmingly, TNT’s Mega Sour Grenade even provides a warning, ‘in case of eye contact, flush with clean water’!