The Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning consumers not to use any “Shrek Forever After”-themed collectible drinking glasses from McDonald’s because they are tainted with the cancer-causing metal cadmium. McDonald’s has recalled all 12 million of the glasses distributed through their restaurants for consumer protection and product liability concerns.
No illnesses or injuries to children have been reported from McDonald’s Shrek glasses, but high long-term cadmium exposure is known to cause cancer, bone softening and severe kidney problems.
The product liability concerns arose after high-tech tipsters wielding Thermo Electron Niton XRF testing guns found readings of up to 1,000 parts per million of cadmium in the paint that creates the design on the glasses, and reported to the CPSC. The cadmium level considered safe and legal in children’s toys is 75 parts per million.
Even the level of 1,000 parts per million, however, is much lower than the reported level of cadmium contained in the Miley Cyrus jewelry recalled earlier this year by Walmart. Some pieces of Walmart Miley Cyrus jewelry were shown to contain as much as 10 percent cadmium by weight.
The XRF testing gun-toting tipsters also reported their findings to California’s Representative Jackie Speier, who is pushing legislation to apply the children’s toy standards to all products likely to be used by kids, such as the McDonald’s Shrek Glasses.
McDonald’s did have a third-party lab test the glasses before distributing them, but that lab did not find elevated levels of cadmium. After the reports to the CPSC and Representative Speier, McDonald’s decided on the product recall out of an “abundance of caution.”
“We believe the Shrek glassware is safe for consumer use,” said Bill Whitman, McDonald’s USA spokesman, to the BBC. But “to ensure that our customers receive safe products from us, we made the decision to stop selling them and voluntarily recall these products, effective immediately.”
1. “McDonald’s recalls 12 mln Shrek drinking glasses-media” (Reuters, June 4, 2010)
2. “McDonald’s Recall Of Shrek Glasses Started With Tipster” (National Public Radio, June 4, 2010)
3. “Walmart’s Miley Cyrus Jewelry Contains Cadmium” (Los Angeles Times, May 19, 2010)