Guardian"> clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Nobody Freak Out: ASOS Recalled Its Radioactive Belts

The belt in question, via <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/may/27/asos-withdraws-belts-radioactive-scare">Guardian</a>
The belt in question, via Guardian

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

ASOS, the UK-based online retailer, has recalled a batch of studded peplum leather belts after they tested positive for Cobalt-60. An internal report at the company states that they "could cause injury to the wearer if worn for more than 500 hours," according to the Guardian.

It's not clear whether the 500 hours required to incur injury is straight or amassed time, but even if consumers don't plan on rocking a studded peplum for 21 days, all day, everyday, the discovery is disconcerting. And that's not the most troubling part.

The belts were flagged by US border control and tested positive, which led to a worldwide recall of the items, which currently reside in a radioactive storage facility. 49 of them, however, were sold across 14 countries, and ASOS does not yet know how many have been returned.

The ASOS-backed report also notes that "Unfortunately, this incident is quite a common occurrence. India and the far east are large consumers of scrap metal for their home and foreign markets. During the refining process of these metals, orphaned radioactive sources are sometimes accidentally melted at the same time. This in turn [contaminates the process] and traps the radioactivity in the metal as an alloy or in suspension."

ASOS now demands about $151,080 (at current exchange) from the supplier, Haq International, in India to compensate for the recall, but the head of the company disputes the retailer's claim that the belts came from his factory. More on the lawsuit's knitty-gritty details here.
· Asos Pulls Belts in Radioactive Scare [The Guardian]
· ASOS, Nylon Made the Sweatshirt The Man Repeller Couldn't [Racked]
· Prints Charming: ASOS's African-Inspired Summer Collection [Racked]