Friday, January 29, 2010

Walmart Princess and Frog Recall: High levels of Cadmium

FAF Inc. Recalls Children’s Necklaces Sold Exclusively at Walmart Stores Due to High Levels of Cadmium

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Children’s Metal Necklaces

Units: About 55,000

Importer: FAF Inc., of Greenville, R.I.

Hazard: The recalled necklaces contain high levels of cadmium. Cadmium is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: The recalled jewelry is shaped as a metal crown or frog pendant on a metal link chain necklace in a crown hinged box. The packaging has the words, “Disney” and “The Princess and the Frog” on it and contains the following model numbers and UPC codes:
Crown Model # 4616-4187 UPC # 72783367144
Frog Model # 4616-4190 UPC # 72783367147

Cadmium poisoning is an occupational hazard associated with industrial processes such as metal plating and the production of nickel-cadmium batteries, pigments, plastics, and other synthetics. The primary route of exposure in industrial settings is inhalation. Inhalation of cadmium-containing fumes can result initially in metal fume fever but may progress to chemical pneumonitis, pulmonary edema, and death.[24]

Cadmium is also a potential environmental hazard. Human exposures to environmental cadmium are primarily the result of the burning of fossil fuels and municipal wastes.[25] However, there have been notable instances of toxicity as the result of long-term exposure to cadmium in contaminated food and water. In the decades leading up to World War II, Japanese mining operations contaminated the Jinzu River with cadmium and traces of other toxic metals. As a consequence, cadmium accumulated in the rice crops growing along the riverbanks downstream of the mines. The local agricultural communities consuming the contaminated rice developed Itai-itai disease and renal abnormalities, including proteinuria and glucosuria.[26] Cadmium is one of six substances banned by the European Union's Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive, which bans certain hazardous substances in electronics.

Cadmium and several cadmium-containing compounds are known carcinogens and can induce many types of cancer.[27]

Research has found that cadmium toxicity may be carried into the body by zinc binding proteins; in particular, proteins that contain zinc finger protein structures. Zinc and cadmium are in the same group on the periodic table, contain the same common oxidation state (+2), and when ionized are almost the same size. Due to these similarities, cadmium can replace zinc in many biological systems, in particular, systems that contain softer ligands such as sulfur. Cadmium can bind up to ten times more strongly than zinc in certain biological systems, and is notoriously difficult to remove. In addition, cadmium can replace magnesium and calcium in certain biological systems, although these replacements are rare.

Source is wiki.