Canon recalls cameras over skin rash substance worry

The Canon EOS 650D The problem has only affected a particular batch of the Canon EOS 650D camera

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Canon is recalling some of its digital cameras after it emerged a chemical reaction involving the device's rubber grip could cause a skin rash.

The EOS 650D range contains a substance which, when exposed to humidity, reacts to produce a substance known as "zinc bis".

Zinc bis turns the camera's rubber grip white and in rare cases can cause irritation.

Camera owners are being offered a free repair.

Canon has warned people that contact with the affected cameras may cause an allergic reaction, such as a rash, on skin and as a precautionary measure users should wash their hands to prevent spreading the reaction to their eyes.

It is understood that 68,200 cameras suffered the manufacturing glitch, although when asked by the BBC Canon would not confirm this number.

"Canon has identified a quality issue on a limited number of EOS 650D units, which causes the exterior rubber grip used on the camera body to turn white after a period of time," the company said in a statement.

"This issue does not affect image quality or camera performance in any way, however we are currently in the process of updating affected stock models before sale.

"Any customers who may be affected are advised to visit Canon's customer support site, where further instructions regarding our repair procedure are provided."

Batch checker

The company said the faulty batch in question contained a "higher than usual" level of a substance used to "vulcanize" the rubber grip, a process which makes it harder and stronger.

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We offer our sincere apologies to customers who have been inconvenienced by this”

End Quote Canon statement

In certain conditions - such as when gripped by hot hands - the resulting chemical reaction produces zinc bis (dimethyldithiocarbamate).

Canon would not confirm whether any customers had reported being adversely affected by the flaw.

The EOS 650D - also known as Rebel T4i or Kiss X6i in other markets - was the first Canon digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera to feature a touchscreen LCD screen.

The recall covers some models that were mostly manufactured in June this year.

The company has provided a simple tool which allows users to enter their camera's serial number and see if their device is in the affected batch.

"We offer our sincere apologies to customers who have been inconvenienced by this," the company added.

"Canon strives to provide the highest quality products to our customers, and we spare no effort in our quality management to make sure our customers use our products with confidence."

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