I recently saw a UPI article about Lead Found in Some Reusable Bags that were offered from grocery and retail stores.
"The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) released new lab results showing that a number of major retailers’ reusable shopping bags contained excessive levels of lead. Of the 44 organizations whose bags were tested, 16 are selling or distributing reusable bags containing lead in amounts greater than 100 ppm (parts per million), which is where many states set the limit for heavy metals in packaging."Why the worry?
Because longterm interaction with large quantities of lead cause problems. In children it can bring about learning disabilities, decreased growth, hyperactivity, impaired hearing, and even brain damage. And adults can be affected as well by symptoms ranging from weakness to fatigue and paralysis, gastrointestinal diseases, high blood pressure, and a host of nervous system ailments.
Since the limit is 100 ppm, what bags where the bad ones? First, the test was on only, polypropylene (non woven) bags made in China. I refer to them as "the stiff bags" when I see them. But many times they are cheaper to pick up a handful of them than 1 or two canvas bags, that I prefer.
2. Safeway/ Organics - 672 ppm
3./5. University of Oregon (picture of football field, green and brown) - 554 ppm / 353 ppm
4. Giant Eagle (brown bag with red reduce, recycle, reuse) - 523 ppm
6. Bloom (black and purple bag) 349 ppm
7. Stater Bros. - 309 ppm
8. Walgreens - 298 ppm
9. KTA Super Stores - 285 ppm
10. Staples (eco-easy) - 277 ppm
Other retailers testing positive for excessive levels of lead included Staples, Giant Eagle, Piggly Wiggly, Giant, Gerbes, KTA Superstore, Brookshire Brothers, Stater Bros., and, ironically, the District of Columbia Department of Environment.
With the law of banning plastic bags popping up in cities here and there, now if definitely a good time to get into the habit of bringing AND using the bags at the store.
Despite the led, there are good ones out there and other positives ways to using reusable bags still.
**Save Money - Some stores offer 5-15 cents off per bag brought in, even if you don't use them all.
**Easier on the Hands - The handles on many reusable bags are wider than plastic bags, softer and more durable for carrying long distances.
** Customize Them - Don't get yours mixed up with someone else's and make your own T-shirt reusable bags. (youtube video)
** Double Duty -Not just used for grocery shopping, handy for carrying library books, Halloween candy, swimming gear, a catch all in the car, and a lunch sack.
Of course this will cut down on the bags you use for your trashcans around the house or putting newspapers in for the recycling, but what did we use before plastic bags? But if you are like me, I occasionally forget the reusable bags in the car and have to bring home a few plastic ones still.
What are your thoughts on reusable bags?