This stainless steel lunch box from India goes in the category of “Things in my home that I never thought to test until now!”
This is a lunch box/ food storage container made of stainless steel. The lid seals on with little clips on the side and it has a tight (essentially waterproof) seal, without the use of silicone bands or similar. In that respect it seemed like an excellent choice.
Recently my husband pointed out that the little moving parts that make up the top of the clasp system are actually yellow brass. I hadn’t noticed that before.
When tested with an XRF instrument that little component (that must be touched to open and close the box / to remove the lid) was positive 22,500 ppm lead. This is the part you touch with your fingers to pop the lid open before you eat whatever is inside, so it is VERY UNLIKELY that the user would wash their hands after touching and before eating! #Gah!!!
Sorry I do not have a brand for this – I am pretty sure it is from India / was purchased at a store full of kitchenware and food storage items from India. Tested in August of 2017.
For context, the amount of Lead that is considered unsafe and illegal in a newly manufactured item intended for use by children is anything 90 ppm Lead (or higher) in the paint, coating or glaze or any thing 100 ppm Lead or higher in the substrate. This lunchbox was not specifically made or sold as an item intended for use by children and so falls within a regulatory loophole (as it is definitely an item that a parent might use to hold a child’s school lunch – as we did for years.)
Additionally, I have done some informal tests that have clearly demonstrated that Lead from leaded brass can easily rub off on to the hands of a user – especially when the Lead level is in the 20,000 to 50,000 ppm range – which is typical of most Leaded brass. So while this sort of Lead-exposure risk (leaded brass components in kitchenware / cookware) may not have been formally studied or quantified by any one research group – I think it is a reasonable precaution to not use an item like this (especially for the food use purposes that it was intended for) and to return it to the manufacturer for a refund if at all possible.
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