Saturday, May 25, 2019
Well, I think I just came up with “a scathingly brilliant idea”* so check out this train of thought / logic… [bear with me, it’s kind of long – as with everything I write – lol!]
- One of my most popular posts of all time is my post about choosing a Lead-free coffee mug.
- FACT: People seem to just really want to know if their mugs have Lead.
- Most mugs I have tested have had Lead.
- The majority of mugs that I have tested that have been Lead-free usually have Cadmium in the brightly colored glazes instead.
- Total content (as detectable with an XRF) of Lead in mugs (mugs made for use by adults) is not regulated at all.
- The only mugs that are regulated for total content levels (vs. leach levels) of Lead and Cadmium are mugs explicitly intended for use by children.
- In children’s items (the only market segment that is regulated), the Lead must not be more than 90 ppm in the glaze or coating and not more than 100 ppm in the substrate.
- Total content limits for Cadmium have been established only by Washington State, and the country of Denmark – with those regulations permitting total Cadmium content of no more than 40 ppm or 75 ppm, respectively in newly manufactured consumer goods.
- Click here to see all of the mugs I have posted about that are positive for Lead.
- Click here to see all of the mugs I have posted about that are positive for Cadmium.
- Judging from the many examples in the two links above, apparently manufacturers just don’t have toxicity concerns as a priority, and I am still finding high Lead and Cadmium levels in newly manufactured mugs in 2019.
- There is science showing the potential for Leaded-glazed ceramic mugs to leach Lead over time, with normal use [even if they may have been voluntarily leach-tested and not detectably leaching at the time of manufacture], because the unavoidable wear and tear on the glazes (expected from the normal daily use of a ceramic mug – subjected to hot an cold coffee, tea, and other acidic beverages; dishwashers, etc. over it’s lifetime) .
- I have been trying to get the issue of Lead in baby bottles specifically (and Lead in consumer goods in general) on one of the talk shows forever (please, Ellen – invite me to your show!, I’m legit! CBS This Morning had me on to talk about Lead in fidget spinners!], yet none of them have ever gotten back to me.
- I’m a little peeved about this. I mean – what’s more newsworthy than a trend in green-leaning companies manufacturing baby bottles with Leaded components or Lead paint? [in 2019, for Pete’s sake!]
- And here the brainstorm came… I was watching a clip this morning where everyone on the talk show had the same mug.
- Then it hit me like a bolt of lightning: Why don’t I test the official “set mugs” (the mugs used by the hosts and their guests) for each of these talk shows for Lead — and see if THAT gets the attention of these talk show hosts!
Hubs says “No, don’t do it!” He thinks this (if I find Lead in their mugs and share that with them) will just make sure they don’t ever talk to me or invite me on their show — but I would like to think that, given their increasing function/roles these days as de facto television journalists, they would embrace such a “dramatic revelation” as important and provocative “news”, and therefore rise above petty retaliation.
Hopefully, these talk show hosts will be concerned/dismayed to discover that their mugs have Lead or Cadmium [if they follow the statistical norms and test positive for one or both!], rather than defensive, and want to do a story on it!
There is a concern of course that if I find toxic amounts of Lead and Cadmium in their mugs that they might feel (as representatives of and/or executive stakeholders in a corporate entity) that they have liability in the issue. As a result, they might try to downplay the issue and not contact me to follow up. But I am hoping they will be bigger than that (and perhaps a little outraged) and will take the opportunity as a teaching moment and invite me on their show to discuss the issues (like Lead in mugs, Cadmium in vintage Legos, Lead in baby bottles and Lead in vintage Tupperware).
[Dear Talk Show Hosts, in addition to being a popular “mommy blogger” and storied environmental activist, I am a seasoned public speaker, actress and filmmaker – and I can promise you it will be solidly entertaining for you to have me on your show! – (<<< My husband wrote that!)]
To this end I just bought the following mugs to test:
- The official Ellen Show set mug for 2019: $19.44
- The official The Talk set mug for 2019: $19.90
- Update (5/26) – purchased a “Today Show” set mug today! $30.30
Since that put me out about $40 for those two mugs – including shipping – (and I need to make sure I have enough money to feed my family this weekend) that’s all I can afford right now, but I would REALLY LOVE to buy one of the official mugs for The View, and any other talk shows that have mugs that the hosts drink from during the show. Here are some ideas:
- The View
- Stephen Colbert
- Jimmy Fallon
- Seth Meyers
- Are there any other talk shows where the hosts and guests drink from mugs and I should add it to this list? Please let me know!
To buy the current season View mug will put me out $38.05 with shipping. I would love to buy all of these mugs and test them all and see how they turn out. If you are up for contributing something towards purchasing one or more of these mugs for testing (in an effort to try to get the bigger issue of Lead-in-consumer goods on some of these main stream talk shows!) please click here to contribute what you can. Thank you!
It will be interesting to see how this works out!
Do these talk show hosts’ mugs have Lead? Who knows!
Do they know if their mugs might have Lead? Probably not!
As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.
*If you know what play this quote is from you win something random… like a hug next time I see you, lol!
Linda Allen says
What about trying to get on the Doctors tv show? I bet they would love to have you!
I’m not familiar with them. I think folks have mentioned that before. I will look it up, Linda! Thank you.
Lindsay Parker Jaynes says
Have you tried Trevor Noah? He seems to actually care about the environment and people’s health!
I love him Lindsay – but he doesn’t have guests, right? And doesn’t keep a mug on his desk – does he? I will double check some videos of his.
Brilliant. Fox and Friends, Morning Joe, Good Morning America, Today, CBS This Morning. Then whoever invites you can be the lucky winner of a visit by you and an XRF, in which hosts bring their own personal stuff to be analyzed live, while you talk about it.
YES! Love this! Thanks for commenting, Vic!
Lisa CORNFORTH says
I would try Dr. James Dobson, the pediatrician Dr. Sears, Dr. Reginald B. Cherry, Dr. Don Colbert, Jordan Rubin
Sherry Kopack says
I don’t know if you actually go out and purchase a brand name mug to test it, or if you let people know how to test them themselves. I need to know if the Forte Kati ceramic mugs have lead and cadmium. I found somewhere online where they say that they are lead and cadmium free, but I question that, as they have colored design on them. A lot of the dishware and drinkware I have looked up online do not state if they are or not. Thank you for anything that you can help me with.
Hi Sherry – Here’s how most of the testing I do works: https://tamararubin.com/2019/08/tamara-can-i-send-you-one-of-my-dishes-to-test-for-lead/
Unfortunately you cannot do this testing yourself at home. The instrument I use (I borrow or rent one when I do testing) to test consumer goods can cost about $65,000 new.
When I wanted to test this Ellen mug I asked my readers to chip in to help me buy one so I could test it.
Send your mug investigation idea to the news channels and let one buy the mugs and sponsor your mug show or film segment. Hope this helps.