Together with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fast food giant McDonald’s announced the recall of roughly 12 million Shrek-themed glasses today after discovering that the designs printed on the glasses contained the harmful metal cadmium. Out of what it called “an abundance of caution,” in a statement issued today McDonald’s recommended that customers immediately stop using the glasses, which featured the characters Shrek, Fiona, Puss n’ Boots, or Donkey from the latest Shrek movie, which debuted in theaters at the end of May.
The recall affects 16 oz. collectible glasses sold at McDonald’s locations through the country in May and June. The glasses cost roughly $2 each. According to the Associated Press, the New Jersey plant that manufactured the contaminated glasses is currently investigating the circumstances that may have led to the recall.
Last month, after the Associated Press reported that a line of Miley Cyrus jewelry sold in Wal-mart contained high levels of cadmium, the vendor was forced to pull the full line of jewelry from shelves.
A large short-term exposure to cadmium or smaller exposures over a long period of time can have negative health effects. According to the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Research Program, cadmium can gather in the kidneys, and some researchers believe it can lead to kidney disease, high blood pressure and other adverse health outcomes. Cadmium accumulation in the kidneys can in turn cause problems elsewhere in the body — even leading to calcium deficiencies that in extreme cases of exposure can cause aching bones and joints. Additionally, some researchers believe that cadmium exposure may undermine the immune system and contribute to lung cancer risk.
For more information about the recall, read the full CPSC release here.