September 21, 2007
To our dismay, we learned recently that parts of our jewelry contain levels of lead that are high enough to warrant a recall. We believe it is important to reach out to you directly so that you receive accurate and up-to-date information on this situation.

When we learned that there may be lead in the bracelets, we took the proactive step of hiring an independent lab and sending random samples for testing. These tests confirmed that, though the beads contain no lead, the small rings have a high lead content. The Foundation had a written assurance from a foreign supplier that the bracelets did not contain lead.

Wearing the bracelets pose minimal danger to adults. The jewelry already carries a warning to keep the products away from children because of the potential for a choking hazard due to small parts. Transmission of lead occurs when the skin touching the bracelet is brought to the mouth, allowing for absorption. Friends of Mel contacted a lead expert, Dr. Rudolph Jaeger, Principal Scientist of Environmental Medicine, Inc., and Retired Research Professor in the Institute of Environmental Medicine at NYU Medical School, who cautioned that hand-to-mouth transfers and other skin-to-mouth contact increase the likelihood that the lead will be absorbed, posing a particular danger to children and pregnant women.

We extend our sincerest apologies to all of you who purchased our jewelry and we are working on a replacement program involving lead-free product. Since we are a small foundation this may take quite some time, but we want you to know that the safety of our supporters is our top concern. If you wish you may send the bracelet to The Friends of Mel Foundation, 20 Pond Park Road, Hingham, MA  02043. As soon can, we will send you a new one without these high lead levels.

Your support has enabled Mel's generous spirit to live on through funding for cancer-fighting research and programs. In eighteen months, through the sale of Mel's Bracelets, over one million dollars has been donated to the Massachusetts General Hospital for cancer research alone. Nearly as much has been donated to other cancer research, education, and support organizations across the nation.

We appreciate everyone's patience as we work through this very challenging situation. We hope that Friends of Mel will emerge even stronger from this ordeal.
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