Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop: The Case of the Faulty Flip-Flops
Did Chinese-made flip-flops sold by Wal-Mart cause chemical burns on some consumers’ feet?
The answer is yes. However, Wal-Mart halted the sale of the sandals in 2007, while the e-mail currently circulating makes it seem as if Wal-Mart is still selling them.
The e-mail I received starts out saying, “This is quite freaky. Summer’s coming you should all be aware.” And then in a large font: “Chinese Thongs sandals sold at Walmart!!! DO NOT BUY!!!”
The e-mail goes on to show photographs of the offending sandals, and some rather disturbing photographs of a woman’s feet with horrific flip-flop shaped burns on her feet.
The current e-mail is actually a shortened version of the original one, in which a woman named Kerry Stiles chronicled her experiences with the flip-flops and included over 30 pictures of her feet. You can get the whole story at her website. But this warning: don’t look at the pictures if things like that make you queasy!
The story is actually true, and was reported on several mainstream newscasts. Wal-Mart admits to only 10 complaints about the sandals, but Kerry Stiles believes there were many more cases that didn’t contact Wal-Mart, judging by the accounts of people commented on her site.
Wal-Mart instructed its stores to stop selling the flip-flops back in September of 2007, so you won’t be in danger of buying them now.
What caused the reaction? No one is quite sure, but as truthorfiction.com writes: “When millions of products like these "Sand-N-Sun" thongs are released on the market, it's not hard to imagine that someone somewhere might experience a reaction to one of them. People are allergic to a wide variety of substances that might not affect others in the population.”
Fortunately, Kerry Stiles’ feet did eventually clear up.
Confirming another internet rumor, this is Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop…reminding you to check it out BEFORE you hit that “SEND” button!