Two years ago athletic shoe giant Reebok announced a recall of 300,000 lead tainted charm bracelets that were given away as free gifts with the purchase of children’s footwear.
In March 2006, a 4-year-old boy from Minneapolis who swallowed the bracelet’s heart-shaped pendant died from lead poisoning. Now Reebok has agreed to pay a $1 million penalty, the largest ever for a Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) violation. Reebok denies wrongdoing.
Lead-tainted jewelry such as this charm bracelet is not uncommon these days. There were over 17 million items recalled for lead contamination in 2007 alone.