NEXT has issued an urgent safety warning after discovering a range of kids shoes thought to contain a banned substance.
Experts have warned the toxic chemical is linked to cancer in certain circumstances.
Parents should stop their kids wearing them “immediately”.
The high street retailer warned the navy strap brogues contain a “quantity of restricted substance”, which exceeds their strict specifications.
And, due to the fact the shoes are sold internationally, the Australian authorities issued their own warning.
Product Safety Australia identified the dangerous substance as benzidine.
“The lining contains a quantity of benzidine which could have carcinogenic properties if in prolonged contact with the skin,” the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a statement.
“Expert authorities classify benzidine as a carcinogen and recommend that exposure be limited.”
In a product recall notice on their website, Next urges parents to call 0333 777 8185 to arrange collection of the shoes, or to arrange returning them to your local shop.
A statement adds: “We’re very sorry for any disappointment and inconvenience caused, but we hope you’ll understand that customer safety is our highest priority.
We’re very sorry for any disappointment and inconvenience caused, but we hope you’ll understand that customer safety is our highest priority
“As the shoes don’t meet our strict, technical specifications, we’ve taken the decision of recalling them, and are requesting that you return them to us for a full refund.”
The shoes were available to buy online between December 19, 2016 and June 29.
The National Cancer Institute said benzidine has been linked to bladder cancer, according to past studies.
They add the manufactured chemical was used in dyes for cloth, paper and leather.
Their website notes the substance has not been sold in the US since the mid-1970s, and is no longer used in medical labs, or in the rubber and plastics industries.
Earlier this year the high street retailer issued another safety warning, after finding out thousands of girls’ sandals posed a choking hazard.
The fashion chain recalled the item after realising small rivets attached to the straps could come loose and be swallowed by young kids.
A statement from the company reads: “Unfortunately, it’s come to light that there’s a potential problem with the star rivets, which could become detached, presenting a choking hazard to young children.
“As the sandals don’t meet our strict technical specifications, we’ve taken the decision of recalling them, and we’re requesting that you return them to us for a full refund.”[“Source-thesun”]