Lead Content Found in Reusable Bags


USA Today (11/15, Armour) reports, “Lead found in some reusable grocery bags is raising concerns that the toxin could pose environmental or health concerns to consumers.” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) “is asking for a federal investigation into the reusable bags following a series by The Tampa Tribune. The newspaper found lead in bags purchased at Winn-Dixie, Publix, Sweetbay, Walmart, and Target.”
The Trib goes on to say that scores of stores are now pulling bags from their shelves or sending them to labs for extra testing following the Tribune’s reports about bags. Several prominent politicians have started calling for hearings, and the Food and Drug Administration has opened its own probe. Meanwhile:


— Winn-Dixie recently pulled all their reusable bags from store shelves after Tribune tests showed elevated lead levels.

— Drug store chain CVS has started retesting all its reusable bags after reports surfaced that their bags contain elevated lead levels.

— Northern grocery giant Kroger is retesting all their bags as well through an independent, third-party laboratory.

— Giant and Safeway have re-tested all their bags, and officials say they were lead free.

— Walmart is shifting to simpler, more plain versions of bags with almost no printed illustrations, a move they say has long been in the works. Walmart bags tested by the Tribune showed nearly no lead.

It may be that a shift to recyclable paper bags is the best solution. If you are concerned about possible lead content in your reusable shopping bags, then you should take them back to the store where you purchased them. You can also call for the return policy.