HEALTH

Yes, lead is used to manufacture your Stanley tumbler

Feb 5, 2024, 2:26 PM | Updated: 2:31 pm

Stanley tumblers are seen for sale at the Footprint retail store in San Francisco, Thursday, Jan. 2...

Stanley tumblers are seen for sale at the Footprint retail store in San Francisco, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. In response to concerns raised by consumers, Stanley issued a statement explaining how they use lead in the manufacture of their popular tumblers. (Eric Risberg, Associated Press)

(Eric Risberg, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — The chaos in the cup aisles at Target and other stores has ebbed a little after social media sleuths reported that Stanley tumblers contain lead, a toxic metal.

And that’s no small deal. Since 1978, the U.S. has banned the use of lead-based paint on walls, toys and other products marketed to kids, and on dishes.

It’s because of lead that renters must sign waivers if they want to live in older homes or apartments with paint on the walls that may contain lead. This waiver is required even if the paint in question has been long covered by newer, safer paint.

And it’s the presence of lead in paint, mostly in products imported into the US, that’s behind dozens of toy recalls.

What’s Stanley up to, why are they using lead in their popular product?

Here’s the company’s statement:

At Stanley, one of the key features of our products is our vacuum insulation technology, which provides consumers with drinkware that keeps beverages at the ideal temperature. Our manufacturing process currently employs the use of an industry-standard pellet to seal the vacuum insulation at the base of our products; the sealing material includes some lead. Once sealed, this area is covered with a durable stainless steel layer, making it inaccessible to consumers. Rest assured that no lead is present on the surface of any Stanley product that comes into contact with the consumer nor the contents of the product.

So, Stanley does use lead to manufacture that colorful, popular tumbler. It’s sealed in the base of the cup by a process called lead soldering, according to Wired Magazine. But the company says the part of the bottle that contains the lead is “covered with a durable stainless steel layer, making it inaccessible to consumers.”

What’s wrong with lead?

When you put gas in your car you have a few choices, but none of which is “leaded” gasoline. Rather, you use unleaded gasoline. That’s been the case since the late 70s and even more so since the mid-90s.

Lead was removed from gasoline around the same time the Environmental Protection Agency urged caution around lead-based paint. And for the same reason — though it is naturally occurring, lead exposure can be dangerous.

High levels of lead can negatively affect the brain and nervous systems of children. Adults can become prone to high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, and kidney damage according to the World Health Organization.

Pregnant women exposed to lead can have a miscarriage or stillbirth. Fetuses exposed to lead can be born with low birth weight and even premature birth.

Do you keep using your Stanley?

The Environmental Working Group stresses to avoid any possible contact with lead. Especially for children.

The Centers for Disease Control says much the same thing.

As for the Stanley tumbler, the company says the lead used in the manufacturing process isn’t contained in the drinking portion of the cup. They said the lead can’t be accessed unless the cup is damaged.

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Yes, lead is used to manufacture your Stanley tumbler