(VitalNews.org) – Shannon Woods, a blogger who goes by the name of Natural Baby Mama, began a journey in 2017 to ensure she and her children were using lead-free insulated water bottles. Her quest prompted her to seek out Tamara Rubin, a blogger, and activist known as Lead Safe Mama. Rubin is also a certified laboratory analyst who performed independent materials testing on several bottle samples that Woods submitted using x-ray fluorescence (XRF). Recently, a reader query influenced Rubin to perform a test on a popular accessory, causing her to find dangerously high lead levels and moving her to action.
Rubin’s reader asked her about Bindle water bottles, made famous by Oprah Winfrey because they include a secondary compartment where users can store accessories or snacks. The reader noticed a small cylindrical exposed seal between the upper compartment for fluids and the lower storage compartment.
CR tests found alarmingly high levels of lead in the storage compartments of Bindle bottles and warns consumers to immediately stop using them. Learn more: https://t.co/YpEaLlrUUG
— Consumer Reports (@ConsumerReports) February 10, 2023
In 2017, Woods, with Rubin’s help, exposed similar bottle designs that used a lead seal. Many manufacturers didn’t adequately cover the lead using food-safe materials. When Rubin independently tested the lower compartment of the Bindle bottles using XRF, she found lead levels in the exposed sealing dots ranging from 400,000 to 500,000 ppm — 40% to 50% purity. The FDA allows a maximum allowable limit on exposed surfaces of 90 ppm, or 0.009%.
Rubin took immediate action on January 3 by writing to Bindle, filing violation reports with the FDA, contacting Consumer Reports (CR) to reach a larger audience regarding the potential dangers, and posting her findings on her blog.
Lead, a potent neurotoxin, is especially dangerous to children and developing fetuses because it can affect physical and mental development, according to the Mayo Clinic. The soft metal fragments easily, and particles can transfer to items it contacts, transferring to hands, allowing users to ingest the metal unknowingly.
Consumer Reports also conducted independent testing and issued a report on February 13. Their analysts found the sealing dot contained lead levels ranging from 90,800 ppm to 155,000 ppm — 9.08% to 15.5% lead purity. Still, the levels minimally represented over 1000 times above the legally allowed limit for consumer products. Consumer Reports recommended consumers immediately discontinue their use of the products.
Additionally, CR found two of the three types of Bindle bottles they tested contained bisphenol A (BPA). Bindle products claim they are BPA-free. BPA is a component of polycarbonate plastics, which researchers have found can seep into foods and beverages. Research suggests BPA could cause brain issues and affect developing fetuses, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In her blog, Rubin suggested anyone using Bindle water bottles stop immediately because of the danger. She also encouraged contacting Bindle directly for a refund. Additionally, she said anyone, including pets, who used the Bindle products should consider reaching out to healthcare professionals about testing them for lead.
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