Cancer fears after baby toy is withdrawn
Baby toys on sale at a supermarket have been recalled amid fears they could cause cancer.
Notices have been put up at Asda in Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, urging owners of some Start Your Senses Zebras toys to immediately destroy them following the scare.
Manufacturer Kids II UK put out the warnings on the cuddly animals, saying those affected have the letter Q followed by a four-digit number on the label.
The toy firm – which has declined to comment – only say the product does not fully comply with “statutory requirement for chemical risks”. But the chemical 4-Aminoazobenzine, a group two carcinogen otherwise known as Aniline Yellow, was used in the colour dye.
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The toys have been recalled from UK stores, including Tesco, Asda and Mothercare. One notice was found at the Asda in Highwood Lane, Patchway, Bristol.
Asda confirmed Kids II had recalled the product and stressed it was not exclusively stocked by the supermarket. A spokesman said: “I can confirm that Kids II has voluntarily withdrawn the Start Your Senses Zebra.
“As this is a Kids II product recall, I’m afraid I’m unable to give you any further specific details around the product fault. Kids II will need to provide you with further information. This product is stocked by other retailers across Europe and is not exclusive to Asda.”
There have been no reports of any injuries from any of the toys.
A spokesman for Mothercare added it was not one of its own branded products and said enquiries should be directed to Kids II.
A scientist at Leeds-based company Green Chemicals, which develops products using safer chemicals, was not surprised the product was recalled.
Technical director Dr Jamie Hawkes said: “Overall, as the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified this as a Group 2 carcinogen – it suggests that it is possible to be carcinogenic to humans via ingestion or contact with skin.
“In the case of this toy, the dye will probably be pretty well fixed into the fibres.
“It is possible that a very small number of products – as in this toy’s case – do come onto the market which contain restricted or banned substances, but I would not think this happens too often.
“Most large retailers in the UK/EU have very strict regulations on what chemicals or dyes are used on their products.”
Barry Mulcahy, spokesman for RecallUK said it would be difficult to get all the toys back.
He said: “Many recalls have a success rate of only ten-20 per cent.”