The Scary Reason Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge Bars Were Once Recalled

Not all societies around the world rely solely on burgers, fries, and cheese to survive. English folk eat fish and chips, the French devour snails, and people in Peru choose to dine in luxury by chomping through fried guinea pigs (via CNN). At least it saves the trouble of needing to clean out the hutch.

Just because you can eat something doesn't mean you should or that you'd particularly enjoy it. Creating a candy called Toxic Waste is therefore a rather surprising and bold decision, but the brand – launched in 2007 by Candy Dynamics – doesn't really do subtle, boasting the tagline: "Hazardously Sour Candy" (via Royal Wholesale).

Naming a product Toxic Waste was also going to be fraught with dangers (unless it actually involved distributing radioactive material in the likely obscure market of discount nuclear weapons). Reality soon hit home in 2011 when NPR revealed that Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge candy bars had taken center stage in a national health scare.

High levels of lead in Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge bars caused a nationwide recall

The NPR report detailed that Candy Dynamics had been forced to recall every single Nuclear Sludge bar ever made after it discovered an unusually high quantity of lead in cherry-flavored bars shipped to California from Pakistan (0.24 parts per million of lead compared to the FDA limit of 0.1, packing rather more of a punch than the advertised sour taste).

The FDA cites lead as being significantly harmful to human health, posing a specifically high risk to children during and after pregnancy. The agency has linked lead exposure to events such as learning difficulties, behavioral problems, and reduced intellect.

CBS News recorded that no one was known to be affected by the abnormal lead levels in the chewy Toxic Sludge candies. Perhaps that was due to their rather poor sales performance of only $32,000. The Toxic Waste website no longer shows Nuclear Sludge bars as being available to buy, although the product is showcased by its U.K. outlet.