According to a Central Florida News 13 report, new tests indicate “21 nonwoven, ploypropylene bags, sold by stores including Safeway and Walgreens as an alternative for paper or plastic, had lead content above 100 parts per 1 million, the highest level many U.S. states allow in consumer packaging.”
The article explains that the group doing the testing, Frontier Global Sciences for the Center for Consumer Freedom, looked at “71 bags and inserts from 44 retailers and organizations.” According to those tests, the bag inserts, which support the bottom, often contained the highest levels of lead.
A January 12 press release from the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) alleges that Disney’s “Toy Story” and “Cars” reusable shopping bags had levels “more than 15 times the federal limit for lead in children’s products.” The press release alleges these bags were available for purchase from Safeway retailers.
According to the release, the CEH “sent legal notices to Disney, Safeway, and Advanced Publisher, the maker of the bags, informing them that the products violate California consumer protection law.” The nonprofit organization demanded all parties involved immediately remove from sale and “reformulate their bags to eliminate lead threats to children and families.”
The Environmental Protection Agency explains that Lead exposure can have devastating effects, especially on young children. According to the EPA, exposure to this heavy metal in children can lead to brain and nervous system damage, behavior and learning problems, stunted growth and hearing issues. Furthermore, the government site explains that children’s growing skin absorbs more of the chemical than that of adults.
Michael Green, Executive Director of CEH, called this health hazard “especially disappointing” because nearly three years have passed since the use of lead was banned in children’s products, the release reports. Furthermore, the press release explains that the “CEH has found high lead levels in numerous Disney-branded products, including baby bibs, diaper bags, children’s jewelry, lunchboxes, Hannah Montana products, and other items.”
Green continues to express his disappointment with these findings, saying “‘Parents should know that the Disney brand does not imply a higher standard of safety for children’s products,’” the CEH reports. Central Florida News 13 alleges that “Inserts from bags sold at Safeway had the highest levels of lead: 672 parts per million.”
However, Central Florida News 13 reports that “Walgreens said it now tests for lead and other toxins, and all current bags pass.” According to the article, Walgreens explains that because they sell multiple bags, they are “not sure exactly which bag the CCF tested.”
Center for Environmental Health press release. (January 12, 2011) “Disney Reusable Bags from Safeway Found With High Lead Levels.” Retrieved January 24, 2011 from the Center for Environmental Health.
Webb, Christine. (January 24, 2011) “High levels of lead reported in reusable shopping bags.” Retrieved January 24, 2011 from Central Florida News 13.