FASHION chain River Island has recalled a number of garments over fears they have been made using dangerous levels of harmful chemicals.

The store has issued a warning over five products which were on sale last year.

The original warning suggested three of the products including a Premium Embellished Tassel Playsuit (714210), Sequin Embellished Cami Top (720271) and Longline Diamante Studded Hoody in Cream (725642), could contain 'lead in excess of legal safety levels and presents a serious risk to the health of anyone wearing or handling the products.'

While two further garments including a Check Pattern Dress with Faux Pearl Button (723969) and Check Pattern Sleeveless Blouse with Faux Pearl Button (723975) had been recalled over fears they could contain 'cadmium in excess of legal safety levels'.

But the recall notice has since been revised to say there is a chance of 'traces of certain chemicals in excess of legally permitted levels within the EU'.

The recall notice adds: "It had come to our attention that five womenswear garments contained traces of certain chemicals in excess of legally permitted levels within the EU.

"The excess quantities of these chemicals could only potentially cause harm if mouthed or ingested but safety comes first so we have recalled the products.

"We bought these products from suppliers who provided testing certificates indicating chemical content within the legal limits.

"We are working with these suppliers to investigate how this happened and to make sure it does not happen again."

Runcorn and Widnes World:

What should I do if I have bought one of these items?

Affected products can be identified by the product identification numbers printed on the garments wash care label.

Advice from the store is to:

  • Stop wearing/using the product immediately
  • Keep away from children
  • Return the whole product to the store or post them for a full refund inclusive of postage
  • Returns address: Freepost, RI Customer Service Parcels

What effect can cadmium and lead have?

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), lead is a toxic metal that affects multiple body systems, including the neurologic, hematologic, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and renal systems.

A spokesman added: "Children are particularly vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of lead, and even relatively low levels of exposure can cause serious and in some cases irreversible neurological damage."

WHO adds cadmium exerts toxic effects on the kidney, the skeletal and the respiratory systems, and is classified as a human carcinogen.

The NHS says the symptoms of poisoning will depend on the type of poison and the amount taken in but general things to look out for include vomiting, stomach pains, confusion, drowsiness and fainting fits.