Excessive amounts of lead found in reusable grocery bagsby Jonathan DuHamel on Jan. 28, 2011, under General Science
From the Center for Consumer Freedom is this report:
Today, the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) released new lab results showing that a number of major retailers’ reusable shopping bags contained excessive levels of lead. Of the 44 organizations whose bags were tested, 16 are selling or distributing reusable bags containing lead in amounts greater than 100 ppm (parts per million), which is where many states set the limit for heavy metals in packaging.
National chains such as CVS, Safeway, Bloom, and Walgreens were among those with high levels of lead found in their re-usable 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.
”Across the country legislators are proposing bills to ban or tax paper and plastic bags, but the unintended consequence of such legislation is that people are using reusable bags, which independent testing shows can often contain excessive levels of lead” said CCF Senior Research Analyst J. Justin Wilson. “As an advocate for consumer choice I believe consumers should have the option of using lead-free plastic and paper bags when they’re bringing home their groceries.”
Other retailers testing positive for excessive levels of lead included Staples, Giant Eagle, Piggly Wiggly, Giant, Gerbes, KTA Superstore, Brookshire Brothers, Stater Bros., and, ironically, the District of Columbia Department of Environment.
CCF focused on testing bags that were constructed from “nonwoven polypropylene,” which is the most commonly used material in reusable grocery bags. The material is typically made in China and can be produced in a variety of ways that either include or exclude toxic heavy metals.
Read the full report here.