LOS ANGELES - Cadmium has been discovered in the painted design on "Shrek"-themed drinking glasses being sold nationwide at McDonald's, forcing the burger giant to recall 12 million of the cheap U.S.-made collectibles.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which announced the voluntary recall early Friday, warned consumers to immediately stop using the glasses; McDonald's said it would post instructions on its website next week regarding refunds. The 16-ounce glasses, being sold for about $2 each as part of a promotional campaign for the movie "Shrek Forever After," were available in four designs depicting the characters Shrek, Princess Fiona, Puss in Boots and Donkey.
In the animated comedy, which debuted May 21 as the latest installment of the successful DreamWorks Animation franchise, the voice of Shrek is performed by Mike Myers of "Austin Powers" fame, Cameron Diaz performs as Princess Fiona, Antonio Banderas is Puss in Boots and Eddie Murphy voices Donkey. The movie has been No. 1 at the box office since its release.
The CPSC noted in its recall notice "long-term exposure to cadmium can cause adverse health effects." Cadmium is a known carcinogen that research shows also can cause bone softening and severe kidney problems.
In the Shrek-themed glassware, the potential danger would be long-term exposure to low levels of cadmium, which could leach from the paint onto a child's hand, then enter the body if the child puts that unwashed hand to his or her mouth.
McDonald's USA spokesman Bill Whitman said a pigment in paint on the glasses contained cadmium.