U.K. retail chain Next has issued a recall of children’s shoes that were found to contain a substance that is potentially cancer-causing. The retail chain is urging customers to return the “Younger Boys Navy Brogue” shoes which have an excess amount of the “restricted substance” benzidine, a white, grayish-yellow, or slightly reddish crystalline solid or powder.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission confirmed the hazardous elements of the man-made chemical, which is used in dyes for leather, textile and paper, prompting Next to issue a public recall statement. “We’re very sorry for any disappointment and inconvenience caused,” the company said on August 2.
According to the National Health Service, England’s publicly funded national health care system, exposure to the chemical is linked to an increase in the risk of bladder cancer. In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency of the U.S. released a health study further suggesting said risk and also reported that animal testing had resulted in various tumor types from benzidine exposure.
While benzidine has not been sold in the U.S. since the 1970s, benzidine-based dyes may still be imported into the country. It is, however, no longer used in plastics and medical laboratories.
This makes a total of three children’s shoe recalls this year for Next. The retailer also recalled two different pairs of sandals stemming from the risk that the detachable rivets on each could be swallowed.