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The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street: Nov. 26

4. Drink Up Kiddies, It's Extra-Leaded!

The McDonald's (MCD) recall of 10 million Shrek drinking glasses in June should have been a warning to those who like to include the sale of useless trinkets to boost their business. A savvy executive might have seen that McDonald's recall and thought to themselves, "Hey, we've got shelves full of glasses adorned with cartoon characters in our store, perhaps we should double-check those for hyper-toxic levels of lead."

Unfortunately for Time Warner's (TWX) Warner Brothers and Coca-Cola (KO), that savvy executive wasn't on the payroll.

A report conducted by the Associated Press found that drinking glasses that were marketed to kids contained lead levels in excess of federal limits. And not by just a little. Lab testing commissioned by the AP found that some of the most popular comic book or movie-themed glasses contained up to 1,000 times the amount of lead permitted by Federal limits for children's products.

The tests, conducted by ToyTestingLab in Rhode Island, were conducted on superhero and Wizard of Oz glasses bought from the Warner Brothers Studios store in Burbank. They found that decorations on the glasses were 16% to 30.2% lead, far exceeding the federal limit of 0.03% for children's products.

The "Oz" Tin Man design was reported to contain the most alarming levels of lead: 1,006 times the federal limit for children's products. The Wizard of Oz Lion and Dorothy decorations exceeded the limit by 827 times and 770 times, respectively. Wonder Woman exceeded the limit by 533 times, Superman by 617 times, Batman by 750 ... and so on, and so on.

Approximately 160,000 glasses have been recalled. Coke said it is recalling more than 88,000 glasses.

Granted, with McDonald's the problem wasn't lead levels; it was the presence of cadmium. But would it surprise you to hear what else was found on the most recent batch of recalled glasses? Traces of cadmium. Who could possibly have seen that coming ... especially with glasses made in China?

TheStreet Says: If you're in the business of selling things to children, best not to poison them. Parents get all bent out of shape about that sort of thing.

Stock quotes in this article: KO, LCC, AMR, MCD, TWX, HSY, TR, KFT, DKS 

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