Last week’s McDonalds glassware recall is another example of the problem of heavy metals appearing in consumer products. The fast-food giant, in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), recalled its promotional Shrek glassware because of the elevated level of cadmium found in the glasses. Although testing showed the levels were legal, McDonalds said that in consideration with CPSC’s ongoing reevaluation of its acceptable limits of cadmium in consumer products, a voluntary recall was initiated.
The McDonalds recall is the fourth cadmium-related recall issued by CPSC this year for children’s products. Cadmium is one of the four major toxic elements of concern in consumer products. Together with lead, arsenic, and mercury, these make up “the big four” heavy metals that pose the greatest threat to our health.
The pharmaceutical industry has been reworking guidelines for limits and testing methods in an attempt to keep tabs on heavy metals. As Managing Editor Angie Drakulich discussed in her post last week, FDA recently focused its attention on the amount of lead contamination in dietary supplements. Legislation is under review in the Senate that could give FDA the power to regulate supplements and better control the amount of heavy metals they contain. Additionally, the US Pharmacopeia and ICH are working to update guidelines relating to heavy metals and keeping them out of pharmaceutical products.
For more on heavy metals testing requirements, register for Pharmaceutical Technology’s webcast scheduled for next week on June 14 and 17.