Spotlight on Reusable Grocery Bags: Demystifying the Latest Health Concerns

Reusable Grocery Bag for Promotional Use

Friend or Foe? Make sure to get all the facts before making a decision.

Recent allegations of unacceptable lead levels in some reusable grocery bags has led many retailers to pull their bags off the shelves as a precautionary measure. The Tampa Tribune discovered through a series of laboratory tests that some local reusable bags had lead levels greater than federal limits set for paint and in conflict with pending regulations about children’s toys.

While lead has been linked to learning disabilities in children and fertility problems in adults, it is important to consider the purpose of these reusable grocery bags and the quantity of lead which they actually contain. The substance in question is not in a form that could easily rub off on food or penetrate the skin, such as the lead found in some types of wet paint, so does not pose an immediate threat to consumers. However, over time, the bags can deteriorate and the paint used in their manufacturing processes can flake off and threads can fray, thus releasing the lead and becoming a health hazard. Keep reading…

Although none of the bags tested broke federal rules, national grocery store chain Publix has requested that its bag suppliers lower lead content in bags to ease the minds of end users.

One particularly valuable finding from the study was that the reusable bags with the simplest illustrations typically had the lowest levels of lead, while those with elaborate designs and images contained the highest lead levels. If you are worried about the lead content of your reusable bags, please reach out to the source responsible for their production for additional information.


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