Home furnishing department store Bed, Bath & Beyond has recalled thousands of tissue dispensers after tests showed they contained low-levels of a radioactive material.
The California Department of Public Health announced on Friday that boxes called Dual Ridge Metal Boutique tissue boxes with the model number DR9M, contain radioactive material cobalt-60. The discovery was made after radiation alarms were triggered during a routine check of a truck at an inspection station that was bound for the retailer's stores in Santa Clara and San Jose, California.
The company said that the dispensers had been sold since July 2011 in at least two hundred of the store's retail outlets across the US and Canada. The dispenser was also available for purchase on the retailer's website.
The company also said in an official statement regarding the incident that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission had stated that there was no danger from the item, but the company would offer customers who had purchased the item a refund.
An investigation on how the objects became tainted with radioactive material in the first place has been launched. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said that scrap metal containing the cobalt-60, a man-made radioactive material used for cancer radiation therapy, could have been sprayed into a metal load smelted in India which was later incorporated into the tissue boxes before being shipped to the United States.