#AskTamara: What reusable straws do you use?
Someone recently asked me about straws.
All of the reusable straws I have tested so far have been lead-free, both the plain glass and plain stainless steel ones.
I really like the glass ones because you can see inside and know if they are clean or not (vs. the stainless steel ones, which you can’t as easily visually inspect!)
Point to note:
I have not tested straws with the colored bands (second photo below), however I would be comfortable using those, even if they are positive for low levels of lead.
“Why?”, you ask?
My Answer: IF there is any lead in the colored bands, the lead is likely very low level and not bioavailable and is also not touching the beverage inside the straw.
With most glass items (and most usage applications) current scientific thinking is that if lead is present at low levels it is likely bound in the matrix of the glass and does not present a hazard to the user under normal use.
The obvious exception to this (the point above) is when something is not, in fact, glass – but is leaded crystal (which generally has 300,000 ppm lead and higher, and is usually sold as/ marketed as “lead crystal” – see this example!)
A major exception around the concern (or lack thereof) for low levels of lead in glass is with glass canning jars. Some current brands and colors and also many older production runs of glass canning jars have low levels of lead. Specifically I have concerns if these jars are used for fermenting or used for the long-term storage of food (especially acidic food!) The impact of this sort of use has not been appropriately studied (to my knowledge), and with long term storage there is potential for lead to leach even at low levels.
The images below (and other links in this post) are linked to affiliate links for my Amazon affiliate account, so if you click through and purchase one of these items I will receive a small percentage of what you spend at no extra cost to you. Thank you!
This type is lead-free.
This type is either lead-free or lead-safe.