1/16/2015 – Facebook
What do you say to people who say, “Oh, they’ll be fine! I ate lead paint all the time as a kid.” Or what do you say to caretakers who don’t remove the antique toys you requested them to put away?
Hi A! What I say (if I am feeling polite)…
Do you realize how much our collective health as a species has declined in the past 150 years since the industrial revolution?
We have unprecedented rates of cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other epidemics… it has never before been like this for humans. [Also unprecedented levels of senseless violence as well as full prisons and special ed costs at an all-time high.]
What single most profound health-impacting event has happened over the last 150 years?
The large-scale industrialized mining and manufacturing of lead —ushering in an era of the global proliferation of products containing this heavy metal, that is one of the most potent neurotoxins known to man.
All of the health impairments we have today – from heart disease and cancer to immune system disorders, learning, cognitive and behavioral disorders, and a host of other health issues are now known to have significant links to lead / heavy metal toxicity, etc.
A study by Leonardo Trasande that estimated the total cost of Lead Poisoning in America today came up with (in 2011) a figure of $50.9 BILLION ANNUALLY. [The total cost of ALL environmental illnesses assesed in that study was $76.6 BILLION ANNUALLY, and lead accounted for more than two thirds of that total cost.
[And this $50.9 BILLION annual cost is actually a conservative amount by all estimations.]
So has lead impacted you? Probably. Arthritis? Kidney Disease? Heart Disease? Memory Issues? Infertility? Sexual Dysfunction? Headaches? Seizures?* – what ailments do you have today?]
*all of these have been linked to lead exposure
Can we prevent it from impacting our children?
It’s the single most expensive yet single most preventable environmental illness in the world today.
Prevention starts with awareness. If you don’t know it’s a problem or don’t think it’s a problem – you can’t do anything to fix the problem – so please, for the sake of YOUR child (your grandchild? niece? nephew?) start learning about this.
& P.S. “We cannot visit your home if you continue to have toxic toys and decorations out within reach of my child. I’m sorry about that. It’s just too important and not a compromise that I am willing to make.”
For the couple seconds most dry goods are in the measuring cup can the exposure be that much of a concern? I would think the greater concern would be the Tupperware containers used to store food. Have you tested those?
I do appreciate your warning
Tamara D. says
Well said! THANK YOU for the work you do.
What year of manufacture were the Vintage measuring cups? I have a set from my Mother in Law from the 70s and I have a set from the mid 80s.
I am still trying to figure that out. It’s difficult because none of them are marked with the year of manufacture or other specific mark that would help to figure that out.
So far all of the folks that have chimed in have said the ones that have been positive for toxicants are most likely from the early 1970s.
Jacqui Graham says
A friend shared your post on Facebook, and it stopped me dead in my tracks. My mother was a Tupperware lady, and gave us the coloured Tupperware dishes and storage containers when our six kids were small. They were in use every day. Cups, cereal bowls, a set of canisters, measuring cups and spoons, drink jugs. My blood runs cold to think about it! My husband liked the storage containers because the lids were so easy to put on and remove.
When my mother died 10 years ago she left behind a storage locker full of old Tupperware. I brought home a box of the coloured storage bowls and lids. Coming up our driveway, I dropped the box and the bowls fell to the ground. The yellow, green and orange bowls were fine, but the brown ones exploded into thousands of tiny shards of plastic! We were still finding them in the flower beds a year later. No idea why just the brown ones.
That’s interesting! I would be cautious not to use that flower bed for vegetables or other produce.
Marianne E Samuel says
Hello, I have just recently starting reading through pages and pages and now know that I need to replace some items. But had no idea that Tupperware would be on the list of items containing lead. I have many of the green, orange bowls and, OH NO, I still use my brown sugar and flour canisters I bought in the 80’s. After reading yours exploded, these will be the first to go out. Thank you to all that have left comments, it has opened my eyes wide and thank you Tamra for all your hard work.
Thank you for sharing your important research.
I was shocked and very disappointed to learn about all the items that I have in my home that contain lead and other toxic chemicals. I (used to) love vintage Pyrex and other “cute” retro dishware, I’d use it daily in the kitchen. And now – I feel the urge to pack up everything in my cupboards and get rid of it. But to where? Maybe collectors who won’t use them for food? The landfill? I’m not a fan of the idea of making more garbage…
And all those ‘quality’ and ‘they don’t make ’em like they used to’ toys from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Ugh. I will be purging those too. I looked into purchasing lead test swabs at my local Home Depot and they don’t even carry them!?
Have you heard of SCITUS lead testing swabs? I want to test a lot of stuff and want to buy in bulk.
Thank you for opening my eyes!
Thank you for commenting. Most of these things (especially the plastic items) will not test positive with any sort of home test – so it is frankly usually not worth the money to buy them for that application. That’s one of the reasons I post this information freely (not behind a paywall) on my blog – so my readers have access to information that is otherwise inaccessible. Here’s one post about that: https://tamararubin.com/2017/02/leadcheck-dishware/
In terms of deciding whether or not to throw these things in the trash, here are my thoughts on that: https://tamararubin.com/2013/11/what-should-i-do-with-my-lead-contaminated-dishes-to-toss-or-not-to-toss/
My husband’s aunt has these cups. I just showed her your article and read a bit to her and she said she didn’t car at her age that there’s enough stuff out there that she just can’t worry about. She’s in her 70s. She also has another set of measuring cups right next to these in her cabinet but still uses these old ones, too. So, oh well. I think if we could help you raise funds and do LEACH testing on some of these items, especially the popular food and toys that people love to collect and pass down and still USE, then write in that same article about how leaching works, what common acute and long term side effects are that people underestimate and at what level damage occurs, continuous low level exposure, and then link your list of what to buy and use instead, all of it right there together vs. people having to click and go somewhere else to put the whole picture together, would really drive it home for the doubters. But especially the leach testing. A friend of commented on the Facebook post I shared of your blog article about the Tupperware measuring cups that you could literally grind one in a smoothie and drink it and be fine. People really do think that a child is the only one at risk and only if they eat lead paint chips like a bag of potato chips and that it’s only about paint and that was all gotten rid of 50 years ago and it just isn’t even a inside anymore.
Thank you for commenting. I would love to be in a position to do leach testing on these. Possibly will be soon!
I have a big problem with you saying our collective health as a species has declined since the industrial revolution. Despite all the raving about GMOs, hormones, “toxins” ect, people are living longer, having fewer fatal illnesses, and enjoying a better standard of living. There truly has never been a better time to be alive in the history of our species.
Wow! What bubble are you living in? Maybe you should check the statistics and get the facts.
Hi Rose, thank you for commenting. Which points do you disagree with?
Totally not true in America! Autoimmune conditions, Cancers, Allergies, Diabetes are at all-time highs, causing premature deaths and chronic health issues! Environmental Toxins from Big Industry, Vaccine induced suppressed immune systems and poor quality diets of “fake” foods have all played a part …
Rhon MacD says
We in Australia have the same coloured Tupperware. Brown, green, yellow , orange multi snack bowl set. However, they do say Made In Australia on the bottoms but then one container has a clear lid , or more opaque now , that shows Made in Orlando Fl…. An orange small container.
Are our items of a similar risk to our health?
Hi there Rhon!
I haven’t tested any “Made in Australia” ones – so that would be hard to guess. I imagine they will be similar. Industry in Australia has had an equally shady past (equal to the U.S. and England!) when it comes to the use of Lead in consumer goods and paint (unfortunately)…
P.S. I have a “Lead Safe Mamas Australia” group on Facebook and we just started talking (last night) about finding a sponsor (like a hospital or university) to have me come to Australia in September or December to do some presentations and free testing of consumer goods for the public. If you have any ideas or contacts that might help with that, please let me know! Thank you. Here’s the Facebook group link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/764046013948390/
So has it been proven that the lead and arsenic get in our food when we use them?? How much ??
Susan Flesher says
I have thecsame small orange dnack containers with opaque lids. Thesecarevon ghe no-no list? Along with the orange, green, yellow, blue flared drink tumblers with opaque lids? When you refer to vintage how old is this?
Tupperware also made smaller versions of the pitcher with bowls for kids sets as well as a sorting ball. Have you tested just the measuring cups or have you tested any of the Tupperware toys?
These were made later so they may have had different practices.. the sorting ball is red and blue with yellow shapes.
I also have the Corning ware butterfly gold pattern and used it exclusively as my first set of dishes after marriage until I switched to the Calloway Ivy pattern. I live in Canada so the products were most likely produced in US.
Holy Mother of God ! I am one of the very few, who held off for many years putting a microwave in my home. My husband loved taking the leftover foods stored in Tupperware straight from the refrigerator into the microwave, especially spaghetti with tomato sauce. I saw the erosion inside of the container and now believe it helped to cause his death & seizures.
Linda Byron says
Thank you for the information on Tupperware. I have an autoimmune disease called transverse myelitis. I’m 75 and used Tupperware. You have a lovely family and l would love to spread the word.
Thank you for commenting Linda! That’s the thing… while some people may “be fine” – so many of us have mystery illnesses these days – chronic issues with unknown origins – many of which can be traced back to heavy metal exposure with a little bit of sleuthing!
My daughter is a college-educated graduate who loves “old” things. She was delighted when her bathroom had a old-fashioned claw-footed tub. Until I mentioned it to her, she had no ideas that lead was leeching off into the kids’ bath water. You know how kids just LOVE to suck on their wet washrags- why IS that? Just thought I’d mention this related topic for those know-it-all mommies who don’t know it all!
Not sure you can answer this. I have more Tupperware opaque pantry storage ware from the 1980’s. Bottoms opaque and the lids are a light pink. Can this opaque have lead? I got rid of all my orange measuring cups and spoons since I started following you. Kind of horrified since I used them for 40 years. Never in the dishwasher to break down the plastic.
Also garbaged a set of mixing bowls tan w/ bleu heritage motif from the late 1970’s. I used just the paint lead tester and all positive for lead.
Thanks your work.