• The chemicals used in the dye may lead to adverse health effects
  • The recall affects shoes in different styles with the navy blue fabric
  • Customers should contact the company to return the shoes and get a refund

Clarks Americas is recalling various navy blue women's shoes that could potentially expose the wearer to certain "toxic" chemicals.

The problem with the recalled shoes is that "prolonged and direct" contact with the "upper material" may end up exposing the users to "benzidine and/or dimethoxybenzidine," according to the announcement on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website. These "toxic" chemicals may have adverse health impacts, the agency noted.

"Benzidine and dimethoxybenzidine are chemicals found in Azo dyes, which have been used to color or dye a large range of products, including fabrics and leathers, but the extent to which azo dyes can be used is now restricted by some countries," Clarks noted in its recall announcement.

In the U.S. for instance, benzidine has not been sold since the 1970s, according to the National Cancer Institute. But the company found that the dyes used in the navy fabric of the shoes now being recalled had traces of azo dyes, noted the announcement in Canada, where some of the shoes are also being recalled.

To date, no illnesses or injuries have been reported in either country.

The Clarks Americas recall affects women's shoes under the styles Breeze Ave, Breeze Shore and Breeze Step in sizes 5 to 12, according to the CPSC. The Breeze Ave style was in dark navy and had article number 26165269, while the Breeze Shore style came in navy with article number 26164910. Breeze Step, however, came in three different colors: dark navy (26166718), navy (26166904) and navy/white (26165290).

These shoes were sold at Clarks outlet stores as well as other retailers including Macy's, JC Penney, Kohl's and QVC. They were also sold online via and More photos of the recalled products are available on the CPSC and company websites.

Those who find their shoes are a part of the recall have been advised to stop using them. They may instead contact Clarks via the recall website to find out how to return the shoes and get a refund.

There, they will find further information on the recall, including the notices for customers in the U.K. and the European Union. They need only to click on the country they're from at the bottom of the page and begin the process. Files such as the proof of purchase and a photo of the shoes may be needed.

Those with questions about the recall may contact the company at 800-480-5092 if they're in the U.S. The numbers to call for other countries are available on the company's recall website.

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Representational image Monfocus/Pixabay