The 16-ounce glasses, sold for about $2 each as part of a promotional campaign for the movie “Shrek Forever After,” were available in four designs depicting the characters Shrek, Princess Fiona, Puss in Boots and Donkey.
The agency noted in its recall notice that “long-term exposure to cadmium can cause adverse health effects.”
Cadmium is a known carcinogen that research shows also can cause bone softening and severe kidney problems. In May the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of about 19,000 “Best Friends” charm bracelet sets, sold at the jewelry and accessories chain Claire’s, after they were found to contain cadmium.
In the case of the “Shrek”-themed glassware, the potential danger would be long-term exposure to low levels of cadmium, which could leach from the paint onto a child’s hand, then enter the body if the child puts that unwashed hand to the mouth.
Cadmium can be used to create reds and yellows in paint. A McDonald’s spokesman, Bill Whitman, said a pigment in paint on the glasses contained cadmium.
An spokesman for the safety agency, Scott Wolfson, would not specify the amounts of cadmium that leached from the paint in tests, but said the amounts were “slightly above the protective level currently being developed by the agency.”
McDonald’s said it was asking customers to stop using the glasses “out of an abundance of caution.”
“We believe the Shrek glassware is safe for consumer use,” Mr. Whitman said. “However, again 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.”
The toxic metal cadmium has been discovered in the painted design on “Shrek”-themed drinking glasses being sold nationwide at McDonald’s, forcing the burger giant to recall 12 million of the collectibles.
Received from www.nytimes.com