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Lead found in reusable bags

Lead found in reusable bags

Credit: AP

by Terri Gruca

Bio | Email | Follow: @TerriG_KVUE


Posted on January 24, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 24 at 11:14 PM

A study out today questions the safety of those reusable bags we all now use at grocery stores.

The Center for Consumer Freedom tested reusable bags from 44 organizations and found 16 sell bags that contained lead amounts greater than 100 parts per million, which is where many states set the limit for heavy metals in packaging.

The tests found: “National chains such as CVS, Safeway, Bloom, and Walgreens were among those with high levels of lead found in their re­usable bags. CVS and Safeway led the pack with 697 and 672 ppm respectively; both were nearly seven times the 100 ppm limit. To date, CVS is the only store that tested above 100 ppm to have recalled their bags. Previously lululemon athletica, Sears-Canada, and Wegmans have all recalled bags due to high levels of lead.”

This is not the first test to find these high levels of lead in reusable bags. And this test found most of the problems with the plastic inserts which help give the bags stability at the bottom. So the testers recommend removing those inserts.

I’ve covered the concerns of lead dangers extensively over the years starting with a 2004 report which uncovered dangerous levels of lead in children’s jewelry. That story lead to millions of toys being tested and recalled for lead.

There are a few things you should know about lead. The biggest danger of lead is in small children because their brains are still developing. So it’s important to limit their exposure.

You want to make sure children wash their hands frequently after playing with toys or being outside.

The worry with lead in these reusable bags is that it’s possible the lead can get on your food, which means it is possible to ingest it.

This study shows it is possible to make bags without lead, so we’ll have to see if manufacturers get the message and start doing that.

You can find more information about the dangers of lead here.