The metal involved is cadmium. Cadmium is already at the heart of concerns over presence of the toxic metal in imported children's jewelry.
The 16-ounce glasses were sold for $2 each. They were available in four designs depicting the characters Shrek, Princess Fiona, Puss 'n Boots and Donkey. The movie Shrek: Forever After, though not doing as well as prior sequels to the original, has still been at the top of the box office rolls since its release.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the voluntary recall early Friday. It warned consumers to immediately stop using the glasses. McDonald's is expected to post instructions on its website next week regarding refunds.
The CPSC stated in its recall notice that ''long-term exposure to cadmium can cause adverse health effects.'' Cadmium is a known carcinogen which can also cause bone softening and severe kidney damage. The kidney damage of cadmium poisoning is irreversible and does not heal over time.
The recall was spurred by an anonymous tip to the Washington office of U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA). Speier has proposed strictly limiting cadmium in jewelry. Her office received a tip that stated that testing with an X-ray gun that estimates how much cadmium an item contains indicated the metal was present in the glass paint on the Shrek glasses.
Tests found that the character design on the million Shrek glasses indeed contained the toxic metal cadmium. The glasses, according to AP, were manufactured by ARC International of Millville, NJ. About seven million glasses have been sold with another five million are in outlets or warehouses.
While ARC International is credited with the manufacture, it appears the glasses were really manufactured in China. According to a CNN report, that was the country of origin; following the report, the CNN anchor noted "No surprise there."
At the time of this writing, local McDonald's restaurants around this reporter still have promotional information about glasess visible. However, this is expected to change later in the day after the Shrek Drinking Glass recall.
Written by Michael Santo