Lead paint on modern reusable milk bottles is a common problem.
I have several other posts about this subject and I encourage you to read those (as they each have more details on the subject) for some background on the issue start by clicking on this link for additional background information.Not only did the paint on this bottle test positive for high levels of Lead, it also tested positive for MERCURY and CADMIUM!
Related posts for those interested in more information:
- Why is this a problem? (The paint is “only” on the outside!)
- Glass milk bottles from California (Lead-free).
- Glass milk bottles from Oregon (pained with Lead paint).
- All of the glass milk bottles I have tested.
- A post discussing the concern for Cadmium in consumer goods (and the levels of Cadmium that are concerning per various regulations.)
- The issue is by no means limited to glass milk bottles, click here to read about glass baby bottles that I have recently found to test positive for Lead in the painted markings.
Test results reported here on the Lead Safe Mama blog are accurate, replicable and science-based. One full set of XRF test results is always reported, however tests are done multiple times to confirm the results. Each set of test results reported is from a 60-second test unless otherwise noted.
When tested with an XRF instrument the 473 ml (1 pint) StanPac reusable glass milk bottle from Smiling Hill Farm’s dairy (in Scarborough, Maine) pictured here had the following readings:
On the black paint of the cow part of the design:
- Lead (Pb): 33,600 +/- 900 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): 843 +/- 40 ppm
- Mercury (Hg): 42 +/- 19 ppm (with 200 second test to confirm)
- Chromium (Cr): 21,000 +/- 1,000 ppm
- Platinum (Pt): 398 +/- 124 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 12,000 +/- 300 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 1,719 +/- 321 ppm
On the green paint of the grass part of the design:
- Lead (Pb): 24,500 +/- 600 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): 562 +/- 24 ppm
- Chromium (Cr): 962 +/- 185 ppm
- Palladium (Pd): 9 +/- 4 ppm
- Platinum (Pt): 400 +/- 100 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 1,791 +/- 79 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 448 +/- 54 ppm
- Nickel (Ni): 4,295 +/- 178 ppm
- Cobalt (Co): 2,403 +/- 151 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 9,383 +/- 671 ppm
On the clear glass areas:
The trace Lead and Cadmium found in this reading are likely from microscopic bits of paint pigment that are on the glass (and the concern is that this contamination can be both inside and outside of the bottle given the high pressure industrial washing and sterilizing process required for the normal (as intended) reuse of the bottles.)
- Lead (Pb): 13+/- 6ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): 7 +/- 3 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 29 +/- 10 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 324 +/- 80 ppm
- Indium (In): 14 +/- 4 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 169 +/- 59 ppm
This is NOT illegal.
Newly manufactured items intended for use by children today are considered illegal (and unsafe) if the paint or coating is 90 ppm Lead (or higher). Through some sort of crazy regulatory loophole, reusable glass milk bottles are not considered to be “items intended for use by children” and therefore are not regulated for total Lead content in the paint. While this is not illegal it does not mean that it is okay, nor that we have to put up with it. Together (as consumers, especially as consumers of organic natural products) WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING about this. Let’s make a big noise. I am going to start by e-mailing this post to both StanPac and to the Strafford Creamery. LEAD PAINT does not belong on our milk bottles, especially not the reusable bottles for our locally farmed milk! We are trying to make safer, healthier choices for our families for Pete’s sake!
Readers, please help me contact the manufacturer
This is the third confirmed StanPac bottle I have posted about (the fourth I have tested and found to have Lead paint.) Click here to see all of the StanPac Lead-painted glass bottles here on the blog. Please contact StanPac with an email (using their contact form) and ask them to STOP using Lead painted markings on their milk bottles. Thank you! Here is the link to their website: https://www.stanpacnet.com
What can these companies do about this problem?
Here’s a quick fix: A couple of years ago, when my friend Katie and I brought this issue to our local creamery near Portland, Oregon they relatively immediate replaced ALL of their bottles with painted logos with bottles with NO painted logos or markings. This left the only logo or marking on the sticker of the top of the cap. Last week, my good friend Carissa (also in Oregon) told me that she now knows when she goes to the store for milk she just needs to reach for the glass bottles with NO PAINTED MARKINGS.
A second option / suggestion for these companies: contact STRAUSS Creamery in California. Their reusable glass milk bottles are painted with LEAD FREE painted markings. It is definitely possible to do this and they are an example. Ask them where they source their milk bottles and what choices they have made for the paint.
As always thank you for reading and for sharing my posts. Please let me know if you have any questions. I will do my best to answer them personally although it may take a long time (there were over 1,100,000 unique individual readers here on the Lead Safe Mama blog in 2020 – from over 200 countries – so I cannot realistically answer each and every question – but I try! To see all the countries with Lead Safe Mama readers in 2020, click here.)