You’ll be able to see the pellet that Stanley refers to on the backside of your drink container. It seals these layers collectively the place all of them meet on the backside of the bottle, in a course of known as lead soldering. Technically, the vessel does comprise lead, however it’s enclosed with chrome steel and will by no means are available contact together with your drink or pores and skin. Nevertheless, must you drop the water bottle, or if it in any other case will get broken, and this piece of metal comes free, there’s an opportunity the lead will be uncovered to your pores and skin.
Lead is a naturally occurring poisonous metallic. The World Well being Group (WHO) cites that there is no safe level of lead exposure. “As soon as lead enters the physique, it’s distributed to organs such because the mind, kidneys, liver, and bones.” Excessive ranges of lead publicity will be deadly. With decrease ranges of publicity—which might occur with a microscopic quantity—lead poisoning in adults may cause nerve issues, decreased kidney operate, and fertility points. In youngsters, it may possibly trigger developmental delays and seizures. The WHO says youngsters are “notably susceptible to steer poisoning as a result of they soak up 4 to 5 occasions as a lot ingested lead as adults.”
“Lead is ubiquitous within the setting, so low ranges of each day publicity are a truth of life,” says Jane Houlihan, nationwide director of science and well being at Healthy Babies Bright Futures. “Exposures and dangers add up daily from lead in meals, water, home mud, and soil. This makes it all of the extra necessary for firms to maintain lead out of client merchandise. Kids don’t want one other potential supply of lead of their lives.”
What Do Different Manufacturers Use?
Lead soldering is low-cost and simple to make use of. Nevertheless, various strategies are out there. A number of of the reusable water bottle firms we reached out to don’t use lead of their manufacturing course of. This is the record:
- Owala, which makes fashionable bottles just like the FreeSip and a Stanley-dupe tumbler, says it has by no means used lead in its manufacturing course of. “The manufacturing of vacuum-sealed containers utilizing lead-free solder is extra expensive and complex. Nevertheless, we made a dedication from day one with Owala to make use of lead-free solder on our bottles,” an Owala spokesperson says.
- Hydro Flask, one other internet-famous water bottle firm, stopped using lead solder greater than 10 years in the past. “By mid-2013, the lead was out of the Hydro Flask manufacturing course of as a result of the model designed a proprietary sealant, TempShield,” a Hydro Flask spokesperson says.
- Klean Kanteen additionally forgoes lead, as an alternative utilizing a noncrystalline silica bead to create its vacuum-insulated bottles. “The method, utilizing silica as an alternative of lead, is similar besides increased warmth is required to soften the silica,” says Wealthy Haver, the corporate’s director of world operations. Whereas some types of silica will be harmful if very advantageous particles are inhaled—sand is created from crystalline silica, so even finer than that—this does not apply to noncrystalline silica glass. “Silica in its noncrystalline type doesn’t have the identical respiratory well being properties as crystalline silica,” says Marty Cohen, a educating professor within the Division of Environmental and Occupational Well being Sciences on the College of Washington.
- MiiR is the one firm, of those we contacted, to make use of lead in its manufacturing course of. Based on its website, “This pellet does comprise lead for manufacturing effectivity, waste discount, and to make sure a whole seal. For these causes and since there may be zero lead publicity, MiiR makes use of this course of with confidence.”
The next firms didn’t reply to our requests for remark: Yeti, S’well, HydroJug, Greens Steel, and LifeStraw. (Sigg responded however has not given us a solution but; we’ll replace this story once they do.)