If you have been following my work for a while you know that I have found several Starbucks branded cups and mugs to be positive for high levels of Lead (Pb) and Cadmium (Cd) in the past.
Therefore I was not surprised today, when several of my followers asked me to purchase and test one of the new 2018 reusable Starbucks red holiday cups. And so I mounted an impromptu mini fundraising campaign to cover purchasing one of the cups so it could be tested using XRF technology.
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XRF technology is what the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) uses to test consumer goods for Lead, Cadmium, Arsenic, Mercury and other toxicants.
To learn more about XRF testing, Click Here.
As always (after raising enough to purchase a cup of coffee), I obliged the request of my readers… (since most of my work, and especially my choices for the types of things I test, is driven by the requests and interests of my readers!)…
… and below you will find the XRF test results for one of these new holiday cups!
Spoiler: The cup is negative for Pb, As, Hg & Cd!
Note: The mere presence of any certain elemental metal does not (by itself) indicate any kind of toxicity concern (especially if the metals present don’t include the #ToxicFour: Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, and Arsenic). However, I do always find it interesting to see what metals are present in products of all kinds.
To see more plastic items I have tested, Click Here.
I also want to make sure (prior to sharing the full XRF test results with you) that I include the following disclaimer: just because a particular cup tests negative for the #ToxicFour heavy metals (using XRF technology), that doesn’t imply or confirm that it is necessarily completely safe to drink out of (there can certainly be “nasties” in any manufactured item other than neurotoxic metals). However in this day and age (an age of extreme concern for liability), my guess is that Starbucks has likely done their homework on what types of plastics might leach into hot and acidic beverages — and which plastics are more likely to be safe to use with hot and acidic beverages.
I am not a plastics expert, and so cannot weigh in on concerns for any possible potential plastics toxicity in food (as opposed to heavy metals toxicity). Personally, however, I choose not to drink hot acidic beverages out of plastic whenever possible. My “cup” of choice is always modern clear glass (not crystal, of course, but also avoid vintage or colored glass – as they are inconsistent/harder to predict without individual testing). [Here’s an affiliate link for the exact coffee cup I use every morning for my coffee!]*
The good news is that this plastic reusable 2018 Starbucks holiday red cup (unlike the plastic of peanut butter jars that I recently tested) was not only negative for Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Arsenic (As) and Mercury (Hg) – but it was also NEGATIVE for Antimony – yay! [Showing that potentially safe plastics don’t “need” to contain known or suspected carcinogens.]
To read more about Antimony found in peanut butter jars, Click Here.
Here are the exact XRF test results for the cup pictured:
Green & White Logo
- Barium (Ba): 156 +/- 71 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 48 +/- 19 ppm
- Nickel (Ni): 18 +/- 11 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 98 +/- 27 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 22,800 +/- 600 ppm
Plain Red Plastic Part
- Barium (Ba): 349 +/- 106 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 72 +/- 24 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 1,317 +/- 298 ppm
White Plastic Cap
- Barium (Ba): 395 +/- 120 ppm
- Tin (Sn): 340 +/- 27 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 12,800 +/- 300 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 6,257 +/- 501 ppm
Markings on Back For Coffee Type
- Barium (Ba): 314 +/- 105 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 49 +/- 18 ppm
- Nickel (Ni): 23 +/- 11 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 84 +/- 25 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 1,695 +/- 313 ppm
TO REITERATE THE GREAT NEWS: All of the readings (on each component of the cup) were negative (non-detect) for the following metals:
- Lead (Pb)
- Mercury (Hg)
- Arsenic (As)
- Cadmium (Cd)
- Antimony (Sb)
- Selenium (Se)
As always, please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts!