Ikea recalls Troligtvis travel mugs after tests show they release above-normal levels of plastic softener

SINGAPORE - Ikea is recalling its Troligtvis travel mugs marked "Made in India" after tests showed that a compound used in making the cups could leach into the liquids held in them.

The Swedish retailer said on Wednesday (Jan 15) it had earlier stopped the sale of the reusable mugs when it found that dibuthyl phthalate, a chemical commonly used to make plastics soft and flexible, was used in manufacturing the mugs.

Ikea then decided to recall the cups when further tests showed that they "migrated" or transferred levels of dibuthyl phthalate that exceeded prescribed levels.

"Ikea has, since many years (ago), decided to prohibit all use of phthalates in food contact products... Ikea is now recalling the mugs in spite of a very low risk of any immediate negative health effect", the retailer said in a statement.

With a low toxicity, only minimal effects have been noted in animals that inhale dibuthyl phthalate, but studies have shown that the chemical has developmental and reproductive effects on animals when it is ingested.

Even so, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has said that no information is available on the effects of the chemical on humans, including any cancer causing properties.

The mugs, which were sold for $1.90 each, come in four colours. The beige cup was rolled out in August last year, while the green, pink and blue versions entered the market in October.

Full refunds for the mugs are available upon their return to any Ikea store, the retailer said. No proof of purchase is required.

It added: "Ikea takes product safety very seriously... Ikea apologises for any inconvenience this recall may cause."

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.