The fashion retailer has warned that three of its products, including the Premium Embellished Tassel Playsuit (714210), Sequin Embellished Cami Top (720271) and Longline Diamante Studded Hoody in Cream (725642), could contain “lead in excess of legal safety levels”.
These clothes were sold in store and online from October 2018.
The recall notice, published on the retailer's website, reads: “It has come to our attention that the components on each product identified above contain lead in excess of legal safety levels and presents a serious risk to the health of anyone wearing or handling the products."
In a separate notice, River Island announced the recall of a further two garments, including the Check Pattern Dress with Faux Pearl Button (723969) and Check Pattern Sleeveless Blouse with Faux Pearl Button (723975), over fears they could contain “cadmium in excess of legal safety levels”.
Both garments were sold online and in stores from July 2018.
Cadmium is a naturally occurring toxic heavy metal which is generally present in the environment at low levels.
“It has come to our attention that the faux pearl button located on the collars of both products contain cadmium in excess of legal safety levels and presents a serious risk to the health of anyone wearing or handling the products,” the notice states.
The retailer has advised that affected products can be identified by the product identification numbers printed on the garments wash care label.
River Island also states that anyone who owns the affected garments should stop wearing and using them immediately and keep them away from children.
The products should be returned to a store or can be posted to River Island for a full refund, inclusive of postage.
Speaking to The Independent, a River Island spokesperson said: "It’s come to our attention that five products from our current women’s range contain traces of chemicals above the levels permitted within the EU.
"The levels are only fractionally above the limits but safety comes first so we are recalling the products. Our previous tests showed everything was within the legal limits so we’re now working with our suppliers to find out how this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again."
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), lead is a toxic metal that affects multiple body systems, including the neurologic, hematologic, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and renal systems.
WHO states that children are particularly vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of lead, and even relatively low levels of exposure can cause serious and in some cases irreversible neurological damage.
WHO adds that cadmium exerts toxic effects on the kidney, the skeletal and the respiratory systems, and is classified as a human carcinogen.
According to the NHS, symptoms of poisoning can include abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhoea, joint and muscle pain, headaches, fatigue, double vision, loss of appetite and memory loss.
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