Cancer Foundation Recalls 200,000 Bracelets Contaminated With Lead

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]


Edit Your Comment

  1. faust1200 says:

    “Proceeds from the bracelets generated over $1 million that went towards cancer research.” Mmmmm….that’s good irony!

  2. SaveMeJeebus says:

    China? Lead? Sorry, I don’t buy it.

  3. ColoradoShark says:

    Next up. Friends of Mel apologize to China for not having enough oversight of Ningbo.

  4. ChrisC1234 says:

    You know… I’m starting to think that Chinese corporations are just as corrupt as American companies are, but China has more lax standards and they are able to get away with shadier stuff over there. Employees who try to turn the Chinese corporations in for dangerous stuff (lead where it shouldn’t belong) probably just mysteriously disappear.

  5. ViperBorg says:

    Is this really a surprise? To anyone? ANYONE? No? We’re all used to it by now? Okay, good, off to bed then.

  6. TechnoDestructo says:

    Lead foundation recalls 200,000 bracelets contaminated with cancer.

  7. Hoss says:

    This is quite unfortunate that a very small nonprofit whose major source of fundraising has become a problem. Let’s put this in prospective though, the bracelets were never meant for small children.

  8. horned_frog says:

    perhaps the charity should sue the chinese company and then turn the proceeds into charity?!

  9. timmus says:

    Needs “irony” tag.

    (why do I have to log in at BOTH the top of the page and the bottom to get a reply to go through?)