McDonald's has issued a recall for 12 million "Shrek Forever After 3D" drinking glasses after learning they are tainted with cadmium, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.
Cadmium is a heavy metal that has recently gained attention as numerous Chinese manufacturers who have been forbidden from using lead in paints on products shipped to the U.S. have substituted cadmium. In this case, the glasses were made in the U.S. by ARC International of Millville, N.J. Cadmium, like lead, is a heavy metal that can be dangerous, particularly to children.
Cadmium was found in the characters on the glasses: Shrek, Fiona, Puss n' Boots, and Donkey. Anyone who has the glasses is urged to take them away from children. Long-term exposure to cadmium "can cause adverse health effects," the CPSC said.
The 16-ounce glasses were sold for about $2 at McDonald's restaurants across the United States since May as part of a promotion of the movie. Anyone who has the glasses can get a refund.
The amount of cadmium in the glasses is not toxic, CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson said, and McDonald's is being credited with moving rapidly to alert the public to the problem. The process leading up to a recall can often take months as the company and government wrangle over often minute details.
In this case, a California congresswoman's office was alerted to cadmium being found on the glasses and she contacted the CPSC, which led to the speedy recall.
Wolfson said the levels of cadmium were just above the standard the CPSC plans to set when new rules governing cadmium levels are put in place.
"When the CPSC approached the McDonald's Corp. about cadmium in their current movie-themed drinking glasses, the company responded quickly, agreed to cooperate fully and acted on the side of caution," Wolfson said in a statement e-mailed to Consumer Ally. "The problem was brought to CPSC's attention by Congresswoman Jackie Speier from California late last week. The Congresswoman's office provided our agency with data regarding the glasses. CPSC immediately obtained samples and did screening on the glasses. The results indicated further testing by the CPSC laboratory would be required."
A series of cadmium-related recalls have involved children's metal jewelry. Wolfson said the cadmium levels in the glasses is far lower than what was found in the jewelry.
"McDonald's acted swiftly to stop sale and is refunding the purchase price to anyone who returns the collectible glasses," Wolfson said.
McDonald's Vice President Walt Riker did not respond to a request to comment on the recall.
For more information, call McDonald's weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, 800-244-6227 or visit the company's recall page.
McDonald's recall: 12 million tainted Shrek glasses