TEXAS (AP) - Metal tissue holders contaminated with low levels of radioactive material may have been distributed to Bed, Bath & Beyond stores in more than 20 states including Texas, federal regulators said Thursday.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman David McIntyre said the home products company had pulled the tissue holder from its stores.
He said there is little to no risk to human health — but it’s better to avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation.
“If someone has one of these, they could receive a small radiation dose from it,” he said. For example, he said someone keeping one of the boxes on a vanity in the bathroom and spending about 30 minutes a day near it for a year would receive the equivalent of a couple of chest x-rays.
“There’s no real health threat from these, but we advise people to return them,” he said.
Bed, Bath & Beyond Inc. said in a statement Thursday that its Dual Ridge Metal boutique tissue holder has been carried in about 200 of its stores since July. It said it was recalling all of the tissue holders and asking any customers who bought them to return them for a full refund.
McIntyre said the company had received shipments of the tissue holders in July, August and December, but that only the December one — which contained 220 of the boxes — was determined to have contaminated products. He said the company is still trying to determine whether the other shipments had contaminated products.
Nevertheless, the company said it was asking for customers to return any purchased tissue holders out of an abundance of caution.
The contamination was first discovered in California when two packages bound for Bed, Bath & Beyond stores in Santa Clara and San Jose containing four tissue holders triggered radiation alarms at truck scales, according to a Jan. 6 report posted on the NRC website.
The report said the products were shipped from India. The tissue holders are distributed by Tatara Group of Piscataway, N.J. The Dual Ridge line of products is described on the company’s website as having a “brushed finish.”
Authorities said the tissue holders contain man-made cobalt-60, which is used in medical devices and for other industrial applications.
Customers can call Bed, Bath & Beyond at (800) 462-3966.
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