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.
Green Glass Bottle – Trader Giotto’s Olive Oil (2019/2020)
When tested with a high-precision XRF instrument, the green glass bottle picture here on this post had the readings listed (for total metal content) below. Please note: the presence of Lead in the glass (at various levels) does not confirm nor refute the potential for leaching of Lead in to the product. Leach testing must be done separately (and is normally done by product manufacturers to evaluate the safety of food packaging at the time of manufacture and distribution.) To read more about the concern for potential leaching from modern green glass food packaging, please consider reading this post [link].
Safe by all standards
While the levels of Lead found in this green glass olive oil bottle fall within the range of what is considered safe by all current applicable standards, my greater concern is what could potentially happen with long-term storage of food products in toxicant-positive packaging (glass or plastic). For example, if you kept a product like this on hand for years because you “stocked up” for the Zombie Apocalypse (or The Big Earthquake, etc.). That said, we have significantly limited our use of olive oil [decades ago, when we learned about the potential possible carcinogenic links when subjected to high-temperatures (i.e. cooked)], and so do not have any major concerns with our occasional use of olive oil dispensed from a recently-purchased green glass bottle with trace (very low) levels of Lead. [Since olive oil of any quality cannot be purchased in a clear glass container [because the delicate oil is easily damaged by both heat and light] that potential solution is simply a “non-issue”.]
What could be done? The bigger picture.
With all items like this (especially food packaging), I think our best course of action would be to write the companies manufacturing the food (and the packaging) – and ask them to employ higher standards for their glass-sourcing. Lead-free light-protective glass exists; it CAN be made — there is no insurmountable technological barrier. These Lead levels are already low; why can’t they simply take it to the next level and insist on sourcing Lead-free packaging for their food products? We have seen over and over again that consumer demand can produce important shifts in products – and this would be a good time to put pressure on manufacturers. All Federal agencies agree that “there is no safe level of Lead exposure to humans”, so why should we tolerate the arbitrary and bogus setting of ostensibly “safe” levels of (any amount of) Lead in our food packaging?
Reading #1 – 60 seconds – side of bottle
- Lead (Pb): 107 +/- 37 ppm
- Barium (Ba): 2,815 +/- 639 ppm
- Chromium (Cr): 417 +/- 55 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 3,531 +/- 340 ppm
Reading #2 – 60 seconds – bottom corner of bottle
- Lead (Pb): 117 +/- 37 ppm
- Barium (Ba): 5,069 +/- 651 ppm
- Chromium (Cr): 452 +/- 53 ppm
- Tin (Sn): 131 +/- 75 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 3,716 +/- 344 ppm
Some additional reading:
- To see more green glass bottles I have tested, click here.
- To see more olive oil bottles I have tested, click here.
- To see more glass bottles (of all colors) that I have tested, click here.
- To read more about the testing I do, click here.
Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions.