The Korea Herald


Major retailer recalls over 50,000 pairs of shower shoes due to chemical hazard

By Moon Ki Hoon

Published : Oct. 30, 2023 - 17:17

    • Link copied

Daiso's shower shoes subject to recall (Yonhap) Daiso's shower shoes subject to recall (Yonhap)

Daiso, a discount store in Korea known for its wide selection of homeware goods, is recalling 53,000 pairs of plastic shower shoes that contain potentially dangerous levels of toxic chemicals, the Korea Agency for Technology and Standards, a government-affiliated body under the Trade Ministry, announced Sunday.

Available in retail stores since October 2022, the sandals were found to contain excessive levels of lead, cadmium and phthalate, a substance used to increase plastic durability. All three substances present considerable health risks, particularly to children. Lead exposure, even in low amounts, can impact cognitive development in children. Cadmium intake can lead to severe stomach irritation. While the full effects of phthalate exposure are still being studied, it is known to affect the male reproductive system.

In addition to the Daiso shower shoes, the recall notice also identified another product from a different manufacturer, totaling an additional 44,000 pairs of bath slippers. The exact retail outlets for this product remain unidentified, though other products from the same company are widely available across various online shopping platforms. These items also exceed safe levels for lead and phthalate, according to the notice.

This incident marks another instance of sweeping homeware recalls in the country due to chemical hazards. A similar incident occurred in 2019 when plastic baby bathtubs containing hormone-disrupting chemicals at 600 times the safe limit led to a collective lawsuit involving nearly 4,000 individuals.

Customers who have purchased the affected products are advised to contact the retail store from Monday for a full refund or exchange. To stay informed about the latest recall notices, customers can visit the Fair Trade Commission's consumer protection website at, which offers English support for non-Korean shoppers.