State Health Officials Announce Removal of Contaminated Tissue Box Holders

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 12, 2012) -- State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., announced today that state and local health officials have confirmed that twelve (12) metal box tissue holders containing low levels of cobalt-60 radioactive material were identified and removed from the shelves at four (4) Bed, Bath and Beyond stores in New York State.

Bed, Bath and Beyond has indicated that no other stores in New York have received shipments of these items. However, the product has been available on Bed, Bath and Beyond's website, it has now been removed from the web as well. The product is Dual Ridge Boutique model, model number (DR9M).

Bed, Bath and Beyond has posted information on these products on Customers can also call the company at 1-800-462-3966.

Shah said that the products were not distributed to the public at the New York stores and there are no reports of prolonged exposure or illness resulting from contact with the products.

Cobalt-60 is a man-made product that utilizes the element cobalt. It has many uses, including sterilizing medical equipment and is a source for leveling devices and thickness gauges used during the production of metal products. It has been used many years in radiation therapy for cancer patients.

The level of radiation exposure from holding this product against body for one hour would be equivalent to a chest X-ray.

On January 10, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) notified Bed, Bath and Beyond and State health officials that the shipment of metal box tissue holders was found to contain the radioactive material. Bed, Bath and Beyond pulled the product from their sales floor.

The New York store locations are:

  • 950 Merchants Concourse, Westbury
  • 25 Waterfront Place, Port Chester
  • 251 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford
  • 340 Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station

DOH, the NYS Office of Emergency Management (NYOEM) and local health officials visited the four stores and confirmed that all twelve boxes are secured.

"State Health Department and other State agencies are working closely with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Bed, Bath and Beyond, and local health officials to ensure consumers are safe," said Commissioner Shah.

Any questions from customers should be directed to Bed, Bath and Beyond at 1-800-462-3966.

Removed Contaminated Bed Bath and Beyond Tissue Holder