In news which brings a whole new definition to the term fashion victim, a batch of studded leather belts produced and sold by online fashion retailer Asos has been withdrawn from sale after they were found to be radioactive. And we don’t mean that in some zeitgeist-y fashion buzzword way. After tests conducted by US Customs, a certain style of studded leather belt sold by the UK based e-tailer was found to contain trace amounts of synthetic radioactive isotope Cobalt-60. Around about 50 belts were sold across 14 countries before the recall was enacted with an internal Asos report suggesting that the affected stock could cause harm if worn for longer than 500 hours.
“The good thing about being an online retailer is that it was very easy to contact people who had ordered the belts so they could be sent back – a lot easier than if they were sold in a shop,” an Asos spokesman said. “This is a completely voluntary recall by Asos. The risk from this product is pretty low.”
The internal company report goes on to explain exactly how the belts became contaminated: “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 sends up to two jumbo jets of stock to Australia per week, the vast majority of which, we assume, is unlikely to be radioactive/slowly kill you. Below, check out our interview with ASOS womenswear fashion director Caren Downie and ASOS menswear designer John Mooney.
Update: Asos has released the following statement: “A product supplied to ASOS did not meet UK health and safety standards. ASOS worked with all relevant authorities and undertook a precautionary product recall, in line with our high standards of quality and customer care. No other ASOS product lines are affected. ASOS continues to work with the relevant regulatory authorities and is in dialogue with the supplier and the factory workers involved to ensure a satisfactory outcome.”
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