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(4th LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Assembly Consumer Affairs Chairman Paul Moriarty on Friday called for an investigation into the New Jersey company that manufactured the “Shrek”-themed drinking glasses that are being recalled because they contain cadmium.

“It’s stunning that in this day and age our children can still come into contact with toxic materials just by using a glass featuring a cartoon character,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “Manufacturers need to do better than this. We need to know what happened here and ensure it doesn’t happen again. It’s completely unacceptable.”

Moriarty said the state Department of Environmental Protection and the state Division of Consumer Affairs needs to look into the Millville company, ARC International, that manufactured the glasses for McDonald’s.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned consumers to immediately stop using the glasses. The CPSC noted in its recall notice that “long-term exposure to cadmium can cause adverse health effects.” Cadmium is a known carcinogen that research shows also can cause bone softening and severe kidney problems.

About seven million of the glasses had been sold, with another five million either in stores or not yet shipped.

“We’ve already seen too many instances of children’s jewelry containing toxic materials, and now this,” Moriarty said. “Enough is clearly enough. It’s time for manufacturers to become more responsible, and the administration needs to look into this and hold people accountable for risking the safety of our children.”

Moriarty has sponsored a bill (A-2076) to outlaw the sale, distribution and manufacture of jewelry containing toxic materials. It passed the Assembly in February. He is also sponsoring a bill (A-2259) that would prohibit the sale, distribution, import, or manufacture of any children’s product that contains, is composed of or is made with lead, mercury or cadmium.

The bill would make doing so a fourth degree crime for a first offense, a third degree crime for a second offense and a second degree crime for third or subsequent offenses.

A crime in the fourth degree is punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment, a fine of $10,000, or both. A crime in the third degree is punishable by three to five years imprisonment, a fine of $15,000, or both, and a crime in the second degree is punishable by five to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $150,000, or both.

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