2 Questions about Reusable Grocery Bags:

  1. Is Lead in reusable grocery bags a serious health issue? and
  2. Are there other health issues with these bags?

My answers might surprise you.

  1. Is Lead in reusable grocery bags a serious health issue? In a 11/10/2010 article in USA TODAY, by Stephanie Armour, the headline read “Lead in reusable grocery bags prompts call for federal inquiry.” I searched the web and found no evidence of a federal inquiry, even though this discovery was released over a year ago. That doesn’t prove an inquiry isn’t underway, but prompts me to ask: why not? My response to the discovery of lead in these bags is to ask another question that will answer the first question: Was the test for total amount of lead in these bags or for leachable lead? If the test was for total lead in the bags, that is not sufficient proof that the bags are unsafe for consumers. If the test was for leachable lead using the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) , and if the lead concentration was more than 5 parts per million, these bags should not be used, because if the concentration is that high, the bags would be treated as a hazardous waste, and would be unsafe to use. But I have no knowledge that such a test has been done.
  2. Are there other health issues with these bags? A health issue separate from, and potentially more important than, lead contamination is the accumulation of bacteria, viruses, and other unhealthy contamination that could make use of these bags very unhealthy. If folks want to reuse these bags “for life,” I would highly recommend laundering these bags on a regular basis, just to keep the bacteria, viruses and other contaminants in check.

In a few days, I will be releasing my new e-book, Taming the Toxic Menace in Your Home, which addresses important health issues like this, and provides tons of advice on other ways to rid your lives of household toxins. Visit this blog again soon to learn more about  the book and to take advantage of a limited-time discount offer.

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