Posted: Saturday, March 14, 2020
Introduction: Tamara Rubin is an independent advocate for consumer goods safety, and she is also a mother of Lead-poisoned children. She began testing consumer goods for toxicants in 2009 and was the parent-advocate responsible for finding Lead in the popular fidget spinner toys in 2017. She uses high-precision XRF testing (a scientific method used by the Consumer Product Safety Commission) to test consumer goods for contaminants including Lead, Cadmium, Mercury and Arsenic. [bio link]
“Better For Your” stainless steel coffee mugs:
While this mug is free of the five main toxicants that I look for in the testing that I do (Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Arsenic, and Antimony), I am not 100% comfortable with the use of stainless steel for a coffee mug – especially drinking coffee from a stainless mug that one might expect would be used every day by the same individual…
Have you ever consumed water from a stainless water bottle after the water has been sitting in the bottle for 24 hours? Have you noticed the “metallic” smell and taste imparted to the water in that situation? In our family, when we send our kids to school with stainless water bottles (which we do, almost every day), we always fully rinse out the water bottle in the morning, and fill it with fresh filtered water (to make sure there is no metallic taste or smell) before sending them off to school .
At this point, I fully support the use of stainless steel for most things — water bottles, plates, utensils, cutlery and pots and pans, etc. — but with hot coffee (which is usually consumed daily — and often from the same cup each day) – given the smell and taste imparted to water that has been sitting in stainless steel for just 24 hours (suggesting possible leaching of metals) – I would have concerns for the heat and the acid of the coffee combining to potentially leach Chromium or Nickel (or Iron for that matter) from the stainless steel into the beverage over time. I would be fine using these mugs for water or milk — or most other cold beverages that one might drink quickly — just not for hot coffee or tea. I prefer to drink my coffee out of Lead-free clear glass mugs.
I don’t have any science to back up this concern, and I have used insulated stainless thermos-type containers (or travel mugs) to drink coffee from in the past – but I have just stopped doing that in the past year or so, out of an abundance of caution. I also don’t know if stainless steel vessels are leach-tested (at the time of manufacture) for the potential leaching of Nickel, Chromium and Iron – I will look in to that.
The full XRF test results of the stainless mug pictured are below (so please scroll down). Here are links to some additional reading that may be of interest based on your interest in the test results of this item:
- Click here to see more mugs I have tested.
- Click here to read more about stainless steel.
- Click here to see more stainless steel items I have tested.
Stay Safe Out There!
A quick note from Tamara
Hey readers – I hope you are staying well out there with all that is going on in the world right now. I’m hanging out mostly at home with my children – and have been doing so for about 10 days now. I pulled them out of school over a week ago – just to be safe. Each of my three youngest sons have compromised immune systems (which manifests in different ways for each of them), due to having been Lead-poisoned as babies.
In between kid-wrangling I am working hard to publish literally HUNDREDS of new posts (with test results for various consumer goods I have tested over the past couple of years, but have not yet had a moment to report on!). These posts have created a backlog in my system for more than a year now – and it’s actually nice to have a *break* with some time to catch up! To make this happen as quickly as possible, I am (as with this post) simply posting the images and the test results – without a lot of additional information. [Do not worry — I will continue to update them with more information as I get caught up and begin to have the time!]
For those new to my website, please check out the menu in the header of the website for more information about how I test things (and my background, etc.) On each post you can also click on any of the keyword tabs at the top of the post to find more items in that category. Here’s the post discussing the type of testing I do, and the specific instrument I use to detect, analyze and confirm metals content, and ultimately produce the resultant data for each item reported here – link.
Please Note: Test results reported below are science-based, accurate, and replicable. Test results reported here are from tests that were done for a minimum of 60 seconds each, and repeated multiple times, to confirm the results. As with all the testing reported here on my blog, a freshly-calibrated high-precision XRF instrument testing in Consumer Goods mode was used to test the item pictured here.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts!
Test results for the stainless steel mug pictured on this post:
Stainless Steel Mug – outside of mug:
- Nickel (Ni): 82,300 +/- 2,500 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 751,000 +/- 3,700 ppm
- Chromium (Cr): 152,700 +/- 1,800
- Vanadium (V): 1,157 +/- 309 ppm
- Manganese (Mn): 9,545 +/- 1,860 ppm
Stainless Steel Mug – bottom / logo area:
- Nickel (Ni): 82,400 +/- 1,300 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 753,400 +/- 2,000 ppm
- Chromium (Cr): 150,600 +/- 1,300
- Vanadium (V): 1,386 +/- 304 ppm
- Cobalt (Co): 2,229 +/- 1,151 ppm
- Manganese (Mn): 9,533 +/- 955 ppm
~ End of Post ~
Scroll down for additional photos of this item.