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Concerns rise over lead content in Stanley tumblers; here's what to know

Do Stanley cups contain lead? Here's what to know
Posted at 5:25 PM, Jan 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-29 17:36:30-05

(WXYZ) — Concerns over lead content in popular Stanley tumblers have customers questioning their safety. Social media videos show people using at-home kits to test for the heavy metal, revealing varying results.

I get why folks are concerned — lead is seriously bad for our health. But when it comes to those social media videos showing test results, it's not always clear which part of the cup they're checking or what kind of lead test they're using. So, we're not exactly sure how reliable those results are.

Now, lead is not only used in a Stanley tumbler. Other insulated drinkware brands also use it to keep your drink at the right temperature. But don't worry, the lead isn't inside the cup or touching your drink. And it’s not on the outside of the product either.

If you look at the bottom of the cup, there is a stainless-steel circular barrier. That part covers a pellet that seals the vacuum insulation. The pellet is what contains some lead.

Users are protected from lead exposure by the stainless-steel layer. The only way to be exposed is if the circular cover somehow breaks off. A spokesperson at Stanley has said that this is possible but considered rare.

People need to know that there are no safe blood levels of lead. It stays in the body, and even low levels can become dangerous over time. Children are particularly vulnerable, with lead affecting their learning, attention, height, hearing and even causing seizures and issues with red blood cells.

For adults, lead poisoning can result in high blood pressure, decreased kidney function, joint and muscle pain, memory difficulties, mood disorders, headaches, stomach pain, and in pregnant women, miscarriage or stillbirth.

Now, while people are currently concerned about these insulated tumblers, I’d like to point out that 10% and 20% of lead exposure is due to contaminated water. Exposure can also occur through paint, dust, soil, air and food.

So what can you do? To minimize risks, avoid damaging insulated tumblers, especially the bottom. If it breaks and you touch the lead, you could then get it into your mouth or nose. I also recommend that people have their water tested for lead.

If you live in an older home, consult your local health department about testing paint and dust for lead. If lead poisoning concerns you, consult your doctor, who can order tests to check for this harmful metal.