Cadmium in Coca-Cola Glasses Prompts Recall


Coca-Cola announced that it is recalling 88,000 drinking glasses because one glass in each of the 22,000 four-glass sets of shed the toxic metal cadmium. Only the all-red glass designed to look like a can of Coca-Cola is implicated.

Coca-Cola glasses did not meet company’s standards

The Coca-Cola drinking glasses are the latest to be highlighted in an investigation by The Associated Press this past summer. The AP commissioned laboratory testing of glasses that depict movie and comic book characters such as Superman and the Tin Man as part of its ongoing investigation into dangerous metals in children’s products.

The inquiry found that the enamel on the China-made glasses exceeded federal limits for lead in children’s products by up to 1,000 times, as well as high levels of cadmium. That finding prompted McDonald’s to recall 12 million glasses on June 4, 2010, because the “Shrek” movie characters on the glasses were shedding cadmium, an essential pigment to make the color red.


According to a news report, the Coca-Cola Company said that only the all-red Coke glass in the four-glass set “did not meet our quality expectations,” even though the low levels of cadmium on the outside of the glasses “do not pose a safety hazard or health threat.” The Coke Zero, Diet Coke, and Sprite glasses do not warrant concern.

Cadmium is a known carcinogen that can damage the bones and kidneys, especially in young children and if it accumulates over time. A visit to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website and a search for “cadmium” will show that dozens of recalls and alerts have been made regarding the presence of cadmium in children’s toys, clothing, and other products.

If the latest recall has you seeing red, it may be because you have Coca-Cola drinking glasses that have cadmium in their decorative motif. Consumers who bought the Coca-Cola glasses from the company’s online store will receive an automatic credit, while anyone who purchased the glasses in retail shops will be informed about what action they can take starting November 30.

Associated Press
Consumer Product Safety Commission