October 31, 2020 – Saturday
Tonight (at 10:49 East Coast Time) a reader contacted me with the following message (continue reading below the image):My reader and I had a bit of a follow-up conversation via Facebook messenger – as I do with so many of my readers! I was not at all surprised to see this, of course. This is one of the most common issues with stainless steel insulated food or beverage containers. I have been writing about it for years (maybe 6 years now), and even have a post specifically discussing the Leaded sealing dots found on the bottoms of this sort of insulated stainless container – link here.
As soon as my reader told me the brand name of the product (and shared their website with me), I immediately e-mailed the company (Paulie Jar) via their website contact form. I told them I believe the findings of Lead in this product is likely a Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) violation – since they were clearly marketing the product for use by children (see screenshots below), and the product clearly has Lead in the exterior (accessible) components of the product.
Update: after publishing this blog post I also reported this as a potential violation to the Consumer Product Safety Commission – sharing the link to this post with them.
Continue reading below the images from the Paulie Jar website and Amazon listings:
This is a product image from Paulie Jar – with stickers, colored pencils and a food pouch, clearly demonstrating that is is intended to be used by children.
This is an image of a screenshot from Paulie Jar’s website stating that it is a product to be used by the family – specifically as a non-toxic solution for their kiddo’s lunches.
Below is the Amazon listing for the products stating that it is “great for everyone” and “great for the whole family” – their additional images also are engaging in a way that implies they are good for children to use.
On top of this (the language that makes it clear they are marketing it as a product to be used by children), all of the language about these products emphasizes that it is a greener choice and better for the environment! Below are two additional screenshots from their website:
A “non-toxic” (“lead-free”) offering from “The Mighty Nest”
My reader then told me that she purchased this Paulie Jar via the “Mighty Nest” website (she shared her receipt with me – which I requested, so I could write this post with confidence). The Mighty Nest receipt was from just 11 days ago – 10/20/20.
I was, again, not at all surprised – as this is not the first time that Mighty Nest has recommended a product (or a category of product) that I have expressly cautioned my readers about because it had known or suspected unsafe levels of Lead in one or more components. [If I recall correctly, one other Leaded product that Mighty Nest was selling was the insulated Pura Kiki stainless baby bottles, and – thankfully – it looks like they no longer offer those on their site — although in reviewing their current offerings this evening, I see a few other items that they sell that likely do have Lead.]
The disappointing thing is – of course – that both companies (Paulie Jar as a manufacturer, and Mighty Nest as a vendor) are guilty of the worst form of greenwashing. They are using buzzwords and their reputations to assure customers (usually mothers with young children wanting to do better for their families) that the products that they are selling are somehow “safer” for their customers’ families, and claiming that they are “greener” alternatives — without doing the rigorous/complete due diligence to make sure the products truly are completely safe, Lead-free, and non-toxic across the board.
Mighty Nest also clearly states in their pledge to customers that products sold on their site are Lead-free, and that Mighty Nest does the research for the customer so the customer doesn’t have to:
Thankfully, in this case at least, Mighty Nest appears to have immediately removed the Leaded “Paulie Jars” from their offerings as soon as my reader contacted them to let them know it tested positive for Lead. In my opinion they also should have immediately put a banner up on their home page alerting their readers to the concern for this toxic product, along with a statement that they have taken immediate action and discontinued selling that product. They did not do that.
However, at least one image of the jars in question can still be seen on their blog (screenshot below – continue reading below the image.)
The next thing for both the Mighty Nest and Paulie Jar to do (if they are truly responsible companies concerned with the health and well-being of their customers) would be to issue a statement on their respective websites (bold and up front, on their home pages) about the findings of Lead in these products.
For the Mighty Nest, the statement should clearly state that they unknowingly sold something with Lead because they did not do their own testing [which – unfortunately – calls into question their “screening process” noted in their pledge, see screenshot below] and they trusted the manufacturer of the product [which frankly they should not be doing, given the weight their recommendations carry in the community of mothers looking for greener choices for their children!] to provide a Lead-free product and the vendor misled them – selling them a product containing Lead.
Both companies should then also e-mail everyone who purchased their product and offer them a refund or – better yet – a replacement with a Lead-free similar product. [Note: the only brand of insulated stainless water bottles that I know to be consistently Lead-free in all iterations is HydroFlask.]
Mighty Nest – an invitation to you..
Dear Mighty Nest,
This is not the first time this has happened (not the first time one of my readers told me that you were selling products that have tested positive for Lead), but this is the first time I am writing it up on my blog (which I am doing now specifically because this is not the first time this has happened!)
I invite you to follow my blog more closely — and hey, maybe even consider consulting with an expert who knows about this sort of thing (!) to advise you on some of your choices for items you sell via your website (to help you avoid these kind of potentially-costly blunders in the future!)
You truly have too much to lose to make this kind of mistake, and you owe it to your customers to do better. Don’t blithely take the word of companies when they say they are manufacturing something that is Lead-free, instead work with qualified experts to make sure this sort of thing never happens again …k?
Mighty Nest Pledge (screenshot from their website, 10/30/2020)
As always, thank you for reading and thank you for sharing these posts. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them personally (as soon as I have a moment!)