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Tamara Rubin is a multiple-federal-award-winning independent advocate for childhood Lead-poisoning prevention and consumer goods safety, and a documentary filmmaker. She is also a mother of Lead-poisoned children (two of her sons were acutely Lead-poisoned in 2005). Since 2009, Tamara has been using XRF technology (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 (March 2023 print edition).
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 this Leaded center sealing “dot,” even when the Lead is completely covered over by a coating.
Continue reading below the image.
Some of the brands of insulated stainless steel bottles and insulated stainless steel cups (and other products) that we have tested and found to have Leaded sealing dots:
- Pura Kiki insulated stainless steel bottles for children (sold through possibly as late as 2019). 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. We are filing a CPSC recall for these products in August of 2023.
- 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!”).
- Pre-2018 Hydroflask stainless steel water bottles. (Their new water bottles and other new insulated stainless steel products from this brand have consistently tested Lead-free.)
- Thermoflask stainless steel water bottles I have tested have all had Leaded sealing dots (knockoff of Hydroflask).
- Paulie Jar: Read more about that here.
- Iron Flask: I do not yet have an article up about this product but shared about it on Instagram.
- Zak Cups: I do not yet have an article up about this product but will be filing a CPSC violation notice in August 2023 and will link that here once filed.
- Crocodile Creek: Details at this link. If these are not recalled in August 2023 we will be filing a recall notice.
- Cupkin: This product was recalled. Details are at the link here.
- Stanley: Details following the link here.
- Green Sprouts insulated baby bottles: This product was recalled. Details here.
- Bindle Bottle: This product was recalled subsequent to our findings. Details here.
Amazon links to the products above are provided (their brand names are 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 our links, Lead Safe Mama, LLC 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 to bare Lead (as with the example in the main picture for this article), that means 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 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 sharing our articles.
Owner — Lead Safe Mama, LLC