This past June, we told you when McDonald’s announced a voluntary recall of its 16-ounce promotional glasses being sold to advertise the theatrical release of “Shrek Forever After.” The painted design contained cadmium, a toxin that can cause cancer, bone softening, and kidney problems. About 12 million glasses had been sold at the time of the recall, and customers were told that there was no real danger, but that they were being recalled out of “an abundance of caution.”
Well, 12 million is clearly an abundance, so that part was true. But an article in the Los Angeles Times reports that there absolutely was the potential for danger. According to the article, regulators refused to disclose the amount of cadmium in the glasses in June, but…
“…recently released regulatory records show that the recall was spurred after government scientists concluded a 6-year-old could be exposed to hazardous levels of the carcinogen after touching one of the glasses eight times in a day.”
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission will be announcing new cadmium standards later this month. Sounds great, right? Except for one thing:
Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the regulatory agency, wouldn’t say if the new standard would be above or below the cadmium levels found in the McDonald’s glasses. The glasses are still considered non-toxic because a child wouldn’t get sick simply from touching one. The health concerns are centered on long-term exposure to cadmium
If the standards are lowered, it will be a grand betrayal. If the government agency designed to oversee the safety of consumer products lets more of the carcinogen into our products, then there’s no hope. It will be a sell-out of massive proportions.
I say we make the standards sky-high. There’s no reason to allow a known toxin or poison into any product designed to be used by a child. No, let me rephrase that: There’s no reason to allow a known toxin or poison into a product designed to be used by a human.
But maybe that’s just me. I tend to try to live my life with “an abundance of caution.”
As soon as the CPSC makes its cadmium standards announcement, I’ll let you know.
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