March 23, 2006

Reebok likely to recall bracelets globally

By Anupama Chandrasekaran

NEW YORK (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 $33 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 jewelry 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-colored 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.

(Additional reporting by Christopher Kaufman, Julie Vorman)