Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wal-Mart Flip Flops Continue To Cause Rashes, And A Rash Of Complaints, But No Action

The mainstream media hasn't had a whole lot to say yet about the ongoing issue of the Wal-Mart flip flops that cause a nasty rash.

Maybe this just isn't a big enough story yet. A hundred or so customers... big deal, right? This almost seems to be the approach take by John Matarese, consumer reporter for ABC2 News in Baltimore. Mr. Matarese's take on the made-in-China flip flops:

"Should you avoid these products?

No, according to doctors, who say anyone can have an allergic reaction to anything. Wal-Mart has released a statement saying it has sold 7 million of these flip flops with almost no complaints."

Yes, a few... even a hundred... out of seven million is not a huge percentage. And I recognize that even a well-run large system can produce large effects. I also recognize that the phenomenon known as "mass hysteria" can happen. I don't think this is what that is at all.

Whether you want to believe in it or not, this rash keeps spreading.

I received an e-mail from Gary Allen, who tells a strangely familiar tale...

"... I picked up a pair of flip flops in 2006 at a K-mart in IL. My sores ended up on the bottom of my feet, and progress to the insides, to my hands. I do believe that there is something wrong with these flip flops. The soles where about the same on the pair I got. I wanted something that would give my more height in the shower in case of any standing water. They were black, with tread (?) on the top, and slipped right on, with no catch for the toe.

I noticed a rash, and little zits/bumps starting to form. It would itch like I've never itched before. My 1st thought was that I finally got athletes foot, or some kind of bacteria from some warehouse or something. It would come and go. I finally got to a doctor, and they had no idea what it was. They treated it as athletes foot and prescribed a cram with a steroid. That seemed to clear it up for a bit.

The skin started to crack, very deep as some had stated in her [Kerry Styles'] site. My feet would swell. Skin would peel, and if I peeled it, would start to take some of the good skin with it. I started to wonder if maybe I had contracted some flesh eating bacteria, as bad as my feet were getting. I had gone through 3 packs of socks, due to the infection oozing, and no relief.

One thing I have figured out from all of this, is that the zits/bumps will puss for a day or 2, and can spread what ever this is. Like I said, it has progressed to my hands, and my girlfriend has started to develop the bumps on her chest, and feet after I have touched her."

In the meantime, there is absolutely nothing new from Wal-Mart about this, except reports of individual stores pulling the flip-flops off the shelves on a hit-and-miss basis... brave move to make in September, Wal-Mart.

So, what does it take to get an official statement from Wal-Mart? I'd like to know.

So would Gary Allan. Here's the picture...

No comments: