Introduction (for those new to this website):
Tamara Rubin is a Federal-award-winning independent advocate for consumer goods safety, childhood Lead poisoning prevention, and a documentary filmmaker. She is also a mother of Lead-poisoned children, her sons were acutely Lead-poisoned in 2005. Since 2009 Tamara has been using XRF testing (a scientific method used by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) to test consumer goods for toxicants (specifically heavy metals), including Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Antimony, and Arsenic. All test results reported on this website are science-based, accurate, and replicable. Items are tested multiple times, to confirm the test results for each component tested. Tamara’s work was featured in Consumer Reports Magazine in February of 2023.
Originally Published: July 31, 2020
Updated: March 24, 2023 — Friday
Leaded Sealing Dots
This is what a Leaded sealing dot looks like (on the bottom of a stainless steel water bottle):
Continue reading below the image.
The image below is what these Leaded sealing dots look like on stainless steel water bottles when covered with the factory paint or another coating — note the tell-tale shape/size/iconic appearance of the this Leaded center sealing “dot,” even when the Lead is completely covered over by a coating.
Continue reading below the image.
Brands of stainless steel bottles that we have tested and found to have Leaded sealing dots:
- Pura Kiki insulated stainless steel bottles for children. This company has said they removed the Lead from their sealing dots, but I have not yet found their products — as available to purchase on Amazon — to be consistently Lead-free. My concern is that even if they have removed the Lead at some point (likely possible c. 2018, if their corporate statements are true), they did not issue a recall on their existing products so some older inventory is still likely available for purchase online and in brick-and-mortar stores.
- Contigo insulated stainless steel water bottles may have a Leaded sealing dot (has a bottom cap design, in which the cap covers the sealing dot, similar to the Pura Kiki construction). There is no issue with bottles with the “bottom cap” design unless the bottom cap falls off with normal use (this is the problem with the Pura Kiki bottles, as reported to me by my readers). If the bottom cap does come off, that’s a good sign it’s time to replace your water bottle!
- Takeya insulated stainless steel water bottles all still have Leaded sealing dots in my experience.
- Corkcicle insulated stainless steel water bottles (all have Leaded sealing dots in my experience — even though this brand specifically is advertised as “Lead-free!”).
- Hydroflask stainless steel water bottles made before 2017. (Their new water bottles have consistently tested Lead-free).
- Thermoflask stainless steel water bottles I have tested have all had Leaded sealing dots (knock off of Hydroflask).
- Cupkin: details at the link here.
- Stanley: details following the link here.
Amazon links to the products above are provided (their brand names highlighted in blue), so you can see them “out in the wild” — not because I recommend buying each of these products! The only product brand I recommend for insulated stainless steel water bottles is new, genuine Hydroflask products, as I have confirmed their new products (current/modern available inventory — in stores and online) are consistently Lead-free. Hydroflask is a good company — a company that immediately and proactively responded to my initial findings of Lead in the sealing dots of their older water bottles and took care of the problem (years ago — back in 2013-2015, as soon as I informed them of my findings).
Amazon links to these products are affiliate links. If you purchase something after clicking on one of my links I may receive a percentage of what you spend at no extra cost to you.
Is this a problem?
Why is this a problem?
My main concern is that children (and some adults) may interact with the dimple on the bottom of these bottles — whether out of curiosity, or as a “fidget.” If the sealing dots are fully exposed bare Lead (as with the example in the main picture on this post), that means that the owner/user is touching bare Lead.
Is there any risk that the water inside the bottle can be contaminated by Lead?
The short answer to that question is “No.” This is a serious but localized/ exterior potential touching hazard; with any of these bottles, the water or other liquid inside the bottles is NOT exposed to the Lead sealing dot on the outside of the bottle, and thus the contents of the bottle are not Lead-contaminated. For the bottles that have a painted coating (or sticker or other seal covering the Lead dot), I have noticed that those seals consistently come off in most brands and so a hazard may not be present at the time of purchase but can become an issue later with normal use and wear of the bottle (as intended). If you have one of the above mentioned brands and the bottom cap (or other seal) covering the Leaded sealing dot has come off, please cease using the cup and either return the product (asking for a refund) or destroy the product.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions. I will do my best to answer them personally as soon as I have a moment, but that may take a while given the significant increase in readership here on LeadSafeMama.com. Thank you for reading and for sharing our posts and article.
Owner — Lead Safe Mama, LLC
So these insulated bottles would be safe to use provided that you dont touch the sealing disk? Is this lead button on the inner layer or outer or both? And do you know if Manna uses these lead disks?
Any thoughts or info on yeti?
Hi Tamara, thank you so much for sharing all this extremely valuable information!… Have your ever tested Thermos or Camelback water bottles for children? Thank you!
The plastic bottles are generally lead-free, but some of the thermos brand bottles appear to have a leaded sealing dot (or partially leaded sealing dot) under the bottom cap. https://tamararubin.com/2017/03/camelpink/
Here’s the video that shows all the ways to search the blog: https://tamararubin.com/2020/12/how-to-use-the-lead-safe-mama-website-video/
Happy Holiday Tamara
Thank you for LL the research that you do❣ You’re a GDsend
I wanted to know are there any stainless steel water bottles for adults that have a drinking spout, besides the ‘Wide Mouth’ type?
Love & Light,
How about Corkcicle hybrid canteen bottle which is made with glass and stainless stain bottom? Thanks
I would like to suggest that Klein Kanteen Has no dot. At least the ones I have.
I am beside myself. What is the point in them using lead!?!? I just don’t understand why it’s even a thing. Someone, please explain.
So, I bought two hydroflasks and a Takeya from some “Joe” selling them on marketplace. He had a plethora of them. They all have that intention on the bottom. Does that mean they all have lead? Ugh, I hate this world.
Rachel Sangsura says
What about Ecovessel’s Boulder and Frost Bottles?
Hello and thank you for your work! I see that you have found (new) Hydroflask bottles to be lead free. I just bought a new insulated Hydroflask bottle (the 12 oz wide mouth bottle, specifically made for kids) and it has what looks like a sealing dot?! There is a removable silicone bumper on the bottom, and underneath is a small depression that looks very much like your example photos. Is it possible this is still lead free? Thank you!
They use lead free materials to make their sealing dots. They are the only brand that I am aware of that is doing this.
Linda Rasmussen says
I called Hydro Flask…three times until I could get someone to answer my question. They said their “Temp Shield” sealing process does not use lead but still has a sealing dot on the bottom. (I hope this is true)
HydroFlask is the only brand that I know that has consistently tested Lead-free in recent years.
Hi Tamara, thank you again for your excellent work! I just wanted to add that I recently reached out to an Australian company, Montii Co., and they said this about their insulated products (water bottles and food jars): “in order to pass LFGB certification all of our products have to be 100% lead free, including the hidden bits (not just the bits that come in to contact with food / drink).”
Thank you for your work! We have some Otterbox stainless steel tumblers, but the outside is coated various solid colors. Is there a concern of lead with those, please?
Wendy C says
Have you tested Reduce Everday insulated water cups? I would be curious to know. I don’t see the dot on the bottom, but I’m just not sure! Is this only a problem in insulated water bottles? Or would it also apply to a plain stainless steel cup?
DENISE Prado says
I have 2 ThermoFlask bobbles that I bought at Costco. I have used one more than the other. I noticed that there are a few dots inside the bottle in the bottom (inside the bottle) that looks like it has rust spots. I only use the bottle for water. I am afraid to continue drinking water from it. What should I do? I thought of returning them to Costco. Please reply to my email.
Oooooooo noooooo! We were just gifted thermo flasks. The bottom looks to be powder coated like the bottle. Is there still a risk if it appears powder coated? Wasn’t sure if this would be considered painted how you said that would wear off, but this powder coating looks okay (except one looks like they fixed a bad spot, ugh). Very interesting. Going to see I can share pics.
Hi! Do you have a clue about the Thermos kids cups?
Hi! Thank you so much for this information and your dedication to informing the general public. I’m new to all of this (as of today!). I have several contigo bottles and a s’well one. Seems like contigo is okay to use but I’m wondering about s’well. Have you ever tested their products? I’m overwhelmed with finding nontoxic materials for my baby and the rest of us. Between the dangers of plastics and heavy metals, the options are minimal.
Hi Joy, have you tried doing a search on Damaris website? She posted a link in one of the comments above on how to do it. You just go to the search button on top of her website and type in a word that you are interested in searching info for. I did not find anything for “s’well”.
I totally agree with you. I have a two year old and just found out that all the bottles he’s been drinking out of for the last year and a quarter contain lead. Tamra also has a very helpful Facebook group that you can search posts for information as well.
Sorry Tamara’s website.
Hi Tamara have you tested the new Stanley Quencher Mugs? My daughter dropped hers and the bottom dot is falling off. Could it have lead underneath? Thank you
Have you tested the Avex stainless steel Auto-Seal water bottles? They were bought out by Coleman and are no longer Branded as Avex, so even if the old Avex bottles are safe, I’m also curious if the Coleman bottles are still safe or if they possibly cut costs that risk lead?
Lindsay F says
I just stumbled across this while researching stainless steel. UGH! Would the exposed lead look like the 1st picture? Looks like my daughter’s might be covered in a black paint? I’m on a desktop or I’d send a pic. I know this was written a while back. Hope you don’t mind sending an email. So frustrating lead is still being used in products, esp for kids!
We had a lead scare with some doors a couple years ago. Thankfully the kids tested negative, but they screamed and cried at getting tested. Worried I will need to be making another trip to the doc. Though, if it is covered in paint, she’s 7 and not exactly touching the bottom of the bottle often. So frustrating trying to do right and getting sabotaged by manufacturers
“immediately and proactively responded to my initial findings of Lead in the sealing dots of their older water bottles and took care of the problem “. This sounds like it wasn’t a problem for the company until somebody found out, or that they didn’t know…
You had done a extensive study of the popular Stanley bottles at https://tamararubin.com/2023/03/full-xrf-test-results-for-a-2023-purchased-stanley-40-oz-flowstate-quencher-h2-0-tumbler/ .
Any chance you could update us on TheroFlask other than the lead seal? I hoped we could see the same testing on ThermoFlask as you did with the Stanley.
Given I know the Thermoflask has Lead, I don’t see a need to do a full assessment – as it is not a product that I would recommend. If someone wanted to send me one to test they can follow the instructions on this link: https://tamararubin.com/2019/08/tamara-can-i-send-you-one-of-my-dishes-or-other-items-to-test-for-lead-yes-maybe-but-read-this-whole-post-first-thanks/