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McDonald's Recalls 12 Million Toxic Shrek Cups

McDonald's has recalled 12 million drinking glasses tied into the new Shrek movie because the paint on them contains the toxic metal cadmium.

As part of the voluntary recall, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned consumers to stop using the glasses immediately.

The $2 glasses feature characters from “Shrek Forever After” and could cause a danger to children if they come into extended contact with the paint, the cadmium leaches into their skin and they touch their mouths.

McDonald's said that it will provide refunds for the glasses, and will be posting instructions on June 8 on a website set up for the recall.

The CPSC did not specify the amount of cadmium present in the paint, but CPSC spokesperson Scott Wolfson was quoted by the New York Times as saying the level was “slightly above the protective level currently being developed by the agency," but that there is “far less cadmium than the children's metal jewelry that C.P.S.C. has previously recalled.”

Just this May, the CPSC recalled 19,000 bracelet sets from Claire's that contained cadmium.

Also in May, Walmart pulled a line of Miley Cyrus jewelry after they were found to contain cadmium, and after the Associated Press reported that the company was selling them while knowing that contained the chemical. Walmart had announced in the previous month that it would start testing all new products for cadmium content.

Back in January, the Associated Press found that various chain stores were selling kids' product tainted with cadmium, attributing the rise in cadmium use to the pressure being put on suppliers to cut out and reduce the use of lead.

UPDATE: McDonald's will pay $3 for each Shrek glass that is returned. The glasses were sold for $1.99 or $2.49, depending on if they were purchased with or without food.

For more background on how the recall was initiated, see National Public Radio's report on how tests by two tipsters made their way to the CPSC. One of the tipsters, Jennifer Taggart of, wrote that her tests of the glasses found more than 1,000 parts per million of total cadmium on three of the glasses. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act only addresses soluble cadmium content, not total, and sets that limit at 75 parts per million.

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