The Friends of Mel Foundation recalled 200,000 beaded bracelets contaminated with lead on news that a 9-year-old fell ill after putting the lead-ridden bracelet in his mouth. Proceeds from the bracelets generated over $1 million that went towards cancer research. From the Boston Globe:
Independent lab tests conducted on various bracelets by Massachusetts Materials Research Inc. showed that the multicolored beads in the Friends of Mel’s bracelets contain no lead but that the small silver-toned rings connecting the beads have a high lead content. The beads are from China and Turkey and the small rings are from China, Herskovitz said.
Friends of Mel said the foundation was misled by a Chinese supplier, Ningbo Metal Manufacturing, which had promised in writing before signing a contract that the silver-toned rings did not contain lead. Ningbo could not be reached for comment late yesterday evening.
The circumstances surrounding the recall cast a dour light on a proposal from Consumer Product Safety Commission Acting Chair Nancy Nord to require a certification from importers vouching for the safety of goods brought into the country. We have previously questioned the efficacy of Commissioner Nord’s proposal, wondering how any importer could reasonably make such a certification without either developing a massive oversight system, or trusting their foreign manufacturers. This recall shows yet again the dangers of relying solely on foreign assurances.
Friends of Mel has promised to replace all bracelets free of charge with “a lead-free product.” They will also reimburse postage for anyone who wishes to mail their bracelet to:
The Friends of Mel Foundation
Post Office Box 1660
Wakefield, MA 01880
Charity recalling bracelets over lead [Boston Globe]