Internet retailer Amazon has announced that a number of products containing toxic levels of cadmium and lead will be withdrawn from its US site.
This follows an investigation that found that there were dozens of products that contained illegally high levels of the two metals – one was found to have up to 80 times more lead than the recommended limit.
Amazon has also been ordered to pay a $700,000 fine. The money will be used to impose tighter regulations and put more focus on monitoring products being sold that are aimed at children.
Some of the products that were found to have high levels of metal included children’s jewelry, school backpacks, pencil cases, and lunchboxes. Some of them had bright colors and featured cartoon characters, making them appealing to children.
It’s estimated that around 18,000 sellers will be affected by the new testing regime, that’s due to be implemented by Amazon. It will mean that, in the future, products will need to have certificates from testing labs to prove they are safe before merchants are allowed to sell them.
The attorney general acting on the case has instructed Amazon to contact any customers that have previously bought products that are considered to be dangerous and to let them know that the products are dangerous and need to be disposed of.
In addition to this, Amazon will need to issue around $200,000 in refunds to customers who bought the affected goods, and in future, if the investigators find dangerous products for sale, the retailer will be required to remove them from the site within two working days.
In a statement, Amazon said: “We work closely with our selling partners to verify that the school supplies and children’s jewellery in our store are safe, and drive continuous improvement to our processes to verify the safety of these products.”