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Reebok likely to recall bracelets globally

Written by: Staff
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NEW YORK, Mar 24 (Reuters) Reebok International said on Thursday it is likely to conduct a global recall of certain promotional bracelets after a child in the United States died of lead poisoning after reportedly swallowing one.

The sporting goods company and the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the U.S. recall of 300,000 of the eight-inch-long metal bracelets that have a heart-shaped charm with the name ''Reebok'' engraved on one side.

They were distributed in the United States as gifts with the purchase of various styles of children's footwear sold nationwide from May 2004 through March 2006 for between and .

Reebok later said similar recalls are likely to be issued in Canada, Latin America, the European Union and Asia, with a possible recall of 142,000 bracelets in Britain beginning as early as tomorrow.

The recalled jewellery contains high levels of lead, posing a risk of lead poisoning and adverse health effects to young children, the U.S. safety commission said in a statement.

Reebok said about 2,000 of the bracelets made in China were shipped to Canada and 172,000 bracelets were shipped to the European Union. The company is still trying to get a final number on bracelets that were available in other markets.

Reebok, acquired by German rival Adidas earlier this year, ordered the recall after receiving a report on the death of a 4-year-old child in Minneapolis, Minnesota, due to lead poisoning after swallowing a piece of a Reebok bracelet.

''The day we were notified that there might have been a connection between Reebok and this death, we aggressively began our recall process,'' Reebok's Chief Executive Paul Harrington said in a statement.

A Reebok spokeswoman said the timeline for recalls in other countries would vary.

Separately on Thursday, the safety commission said discount retailer Dollar Tree Stores Inc. was recalling 580,000 necklaces and rings due to high levels of lead in the products.

The regulator said no incidents or injuries have been reported in connection with the Dollar Tree products.

The recalled Dollar Tree items include silver-coloured rings and black cord necklaces with a silver charm, which were packaged as ''Mood Necklace,'' ''Mood Ring,'' ''Glow in the Dark Necklace,'' ''Glow in the Dark Ring,'' ''UV Necklace'' or ''UV Ring.'' The items were sold from September 2003 through February 2006.

REUTERS SD PC1617

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