Stanley Cups Apparently Contain Lead. Here’s How Worried You Should Be

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Repeated exposure poses even more risk than a one-time event. “The body does not easily rid itself of lead, which can build up in the blood over time, possibly leading to lead toxicity,” says Venus Kalami, MNSP, RD, CSP, a pediatric dietitian and nutritionist at Solid Starts. Symptoms of lead poisoning can include nausea, vomiting, anemia, loss of appetite, and irritability—and anyone experiencing them should see a doctor immediately.

Lots of insulated cups and water bottles are made with lead

Despite its known risks, lead-based solders are used by many insulated bottle and cup manufacturers—such as Yeti, Klean Kanteen, and Thermos—mostly because the metal melts and fuses easily, and it’s affordable. And, probably, because customers weren’t talking about it all that much, until now. Though a Stanley spokesperson told TODAY that its engineering and supply chain teams “are making progress on innovative, alternative materials for use in the sealing process,” plenty of other companies (such as Owala and Hydro Flask) are currently lead-free.

Rubin sent a tip about lead in the Bindle bottle to Consumer Reports, which resulted in a recall earlier this year. She also contacted Hydro Flask about lead in its products over a decade ago, which the brand confirms prompted it to make a change. She “brought awareness to the issue,” says Larry Witt, the president of home and outdoor at Helen of Troy, Hydro Flask’s owner. The brand developed an alternative in 2012, which Witt admits “was more complex and ultimately more expensive” to produce. But at the time the company changed the solder, it didn’t raise prices.

Even so, sticking with lead might be more costly for brands if recalls happen. The CPSC—which actively monitors products for potential lead regulation violations—recently recalled several children’s tumblers from PandaEar, Cupkin, Tiblue, Klickpick, and Laoion, due to pellets (similar to those used by Stanley) surpassing federal lead content limits. With few limited exceptions, children’s products sold in the US must not contain more than 100 parts per million (ppm) of total lead content in accessible parts.

“Companies that use lead are promoting the mining, manufacturing, and refinement of toxicants,” Rubin tells me. “If these companies were using alternatives, they wouldn’t be contaminating waterways, they wouldn’t be poisoning our air, and we’d have a much healthier population.”

Risetto, the registered dietician, agrees. Whether or not Stanley customers ever come into contact with the lead solder used in their cups, she says the use of the metal is “a miss,” considering its potential for harm. “If others have totally replaced lead in their manufacturing processes, why can’t Stanley?”

Customers can report any lead-related concerns about products currently on the market to the CPSC, at SaferProducts.Gov.


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Author:Ali Francis | Website:www.bonappetit.com

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