Owners of glittery iPhones may want to exercise caution around these products. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a worldwide recall of about 275,000 liquid glitter iPhone cases by New Jersey-based company MixBin Electronics, reported Circa.com. According to the CPSC, there are over two dozen incidents of people experiencing skin irritation and chemical burns after these cases broke and spilled glitter onto their skin, including 19 which were in the U.S. At least one instance had a customer becoming permanently scarred from a chemical burn, while another experienced “swelling to her leg, face, neck, chest, upper body, and hands.”
The notice posted by the organization reported that these cases were being sold at the outlets and online stores of Amazon, Nordstrom Rack, Tory Burch, Victoria’s Secret, and Henri Bendel for $15 to $65 a piece. Of the 275,000 iPhone 6, 6s, and 7 case units, 263,000 were sold in the United States, 11,400 were sold in Canada, and 400 were sold in Mexico.
The CPSC noted that consumers should stop using the cases immediately and get in touch with MixBin Electronics to ask for a full refund. In response, the company created a website specifically for consumers demanding reimbursement.
On the website, they wrote: “Please note you will be required to provide a picture of your affected iPhone case to complete your registration. Once your claim is approved you will receive instructions for disposal of your case. Do not dispose of your case until you receive confirmation of your claim.”
When approached by Today.com, associate professor of dermatology Adam Friedman described the occurrences as “kind of unusual”, adding: “You would think that with a product like this you would not use something caustic.”
Birnur Aral of Good Housekeeping Institute’s Health, Beauty and Environmental Sciences Lab stated that the burns could be caused by the mixture of additives in the liquid. According to Aral, the liquid used in the cases was most likely not pure water. “Perhaps there was a mix up of substances during product’s manufacturing and the heat coming off the phone exacerbated the effect of the solvent leading to its leakage and unfortunate injuries,” Aral explained.
She then added: “It’s hard to imagine that very harsh solvents were being intentionally used in their manufacture as they can dissolve the plastic rather fast.”
Friedman surmised that the 24 consumers who came into contact with the iPhone case liquid experienced irritant contact dermatitis, a condition that results from the skin touching a caustic substance. Individuals with irritant contact dermatitis will typically see a dark red mark appear on the areas that were exposed to the irritating materials within the span of a few hours. If left unchecked, irritant contact dermatitis can leave behind lasting damage.
In the event that irritant contact dermatitis occurs, Friedman has recommended keeping the affected areas relatively wet. “Any injury to the skin will heal better if it is kept moist,” Friedman noted. (Related: Dehydration and Allergies: 6 Simple Steps to Rehydrate Your Body)
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