McDonald’s recall of Shrek glasses puts safety spotlight on cadmium

You probably haven’t thought about cadmium since your 10th-grade chemistry final, but a string of toy recalls — most recently, 12 million “Shrek”-themed drinking glasses from McDonald’s stores — is putting this metal in the safety hot seat.

McDonald’s is asking customers to stop using the glasses and will begin offering refunds this week.

The federal agency that oversees product safety says cadmium was found in the cup’s paint. Long-term exposure to cadmium can cause kidney and bone damage as well as flu-like and respiratory symptoms.

InFebruary, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued its first-ever recall for cadmium, warning the metal was found in Disney-themed jewelry being sold at Wal-Mart. Interviewed then,Sarah Chusid of Kids in Danger, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to improving children’s product safety, said awareness about the dangers of cadmium was rising and that she expected to see more product recalls as testing began in earnest.

“Momentum is building with this and I’m sure we’ll see more and more recalls for it in coming months, now that it’s on the radar screen,” Chusid said.

Find more information at the CPSC’s recall website or by calling the recall hotline at (800) 244-6227.

Liz Hoffman is the web editor at Chicago Parent.

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