Introduction (for those new to this website):
Tamara Rubin is a federal-award-winning independent advocate for consumer goods safety 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. Tamara’s work was featured in Consumer Reports Magazine in February of 2023.
What is Lead Safe Mama, LLC
Published: April 22, 2021
Updated: December 1, 2022
Lead Safe Mama, LLC is a woman-owned small business working as an environmental advocacy organization focused on childhood Lead-poisoning prevention and advocating for the identification and elimination of metallic toxicants (Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Arsenic, and Antimony), which are currently still routinely found in our homes, schools, and environments — both in our consumer goods and the buildings themselves.
#1) Lead Safe Mama, LLC depends on collaboration
Lead Safe Mama, LLC has a very unusual business model, based on a foundation of collaboration with the public. The work we do is both dictated by our readers and social media followers and is also funded by these same people (friends, followers, subscribers, readers).
#2) What activities does Lead Safe Mama, LLC engage in to accomplish your goals?
- Testing (using XRF technology and other scientifically-replicable testing methodologies), analysis, and reporting on the test results of newly-manufactured, antique, and vintage consumer goods commonly found in our homes, schools, and environments.
- Working to hold corporations accountable for the production of modern and legacy consumer goods that test positive for toxicants (especially when non-toxic materials are readily-available alternatives for the same applications).
- Writing about the above test results on the Lead Safe Mama website (as well as writing about other issues related to childhood Lead-poisoning prevention and consumer goods safety, and creating and publishing written resources and guides for families who are dealing with the impacts of a child’s poisoning).
- Producing and publishing films and videos — from short YouTube videos to our “10 Minutes With Tamara Video Series” to our documentary feature filmMisLEAD: America’s Secret Epidemic (focused on childhood Lead-poisoning prevention, consumer goods safety, and environmental activism). (We have also recently joined TikTok and one of our first TikTok videos had over 2,000,000 views in just about 48 hours — although an “anonymous complaint” likely made by a large manufacturer of baby bottles painted with Lead paint resulted in the removal of our first TikTok channel!)
- Coordinating and participating in public outreach events and speaking engagements — normally sponsored by hospitals, schools, universities/colleges, city, state, county health departments, or local businesses. (We have done many speaking engagements for government organizations — including the EPA, and often our presentations are set up so that attendees [doctors, nurses, childcare providers, contractors, and others] can earn Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) from their state certification programs for attending and participating in our presentations.)
- Consulting: One-on-one, in-person home consultations with families; consulting with businesses on product development, or working with attorneys on toxicant-related cases, and Zoom consults/phone consults with groups and families.
- Guest-teaching classes. To date, we have guest-taught classes for students ranging from pre-K and elementary school to high school, colleges, and universities (including speaking engagements at Stanford University, Portland State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T), Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, and Berklee College of Music!). We have also done guest speaking (and served as a keynote speaker) for vocational training and certification programs (related to childhood Lead poisoning prevention — including certification programs with the State of New Hampshire Department of public health), and national conferences for childhood Lead-poisoning prevention.
- Recommending safer (less-toxic) product choices to those who seek out this information.
- We are also working on completing two books on the subject of childhood Lead-poisoning prevention and consumer goods toxicity.
#3) How does Lead Safe Mama, LLC earn income?
Lead Safe Mama, LLC earns income through the following activities:
- Advertising income: on the website (through a contract with MediaVine) — about 35%
- Affiliate income: from links to products being sold on Amazon — about 25%
- Consulting income: from working with individuals and corporations (phone consultations/zoom consultations; in-person consultations — including work advising manufacturers and retailers about their product development/product choices, and advising attorneys in relevant legal cases) — about 15%
- Outreach event fees: outreach events (sponsored by/ paid for by a host, and normally free for attendees/ open to the public) — Less than 10%
- Donations: from readers, friends, and followers (including donations from businesses) — less than 10%
- Affiliate income: from select (vetted and invited) corporate sponsors (Kleynimals, Naturepedic, SOLIDteknics, Water Right Hoses) — Less than 5%,
- Direct corporate advertising sponsorships: Less than 5%
#4) Why does Lead Safe Mama, LLC periodically request donations from readers in support of the work?
Until the work of Lead Safe Mama, LLC is fully funded by income earned from the work we do (see below), we still need to rely on financial contributions from our readers, friends, fans, and followers to make ends meet (covering the cost of the work we do here). While some Lead Safe Mama, LLC activities are “fee for service” (consulting, outreach events, etc.), every day we also continue to provide free assistance to families around the world when they cannot afford to pay for services. All of the information here on the Lead Safe Mama website (over 3,500 posts and pages) continues to be freely available (not requiring a subscription/ behind a paywall). Contributions — made by others in the community who have the means to do so (and who appreciate this work or who have personally benefitted from this work) — make it possible for us to continue helping families without charging for access to this information (so we do not need to host all or some of our information behind a paywall/ only available through a subscription service — as many websites do these days).
#5) How does Lead Safe Mama, LLC measure success?
The simplest way for us to measure the success of this work (in terms of the reach and impact of our work) is by tracking unique page views (readership) here on the Lead Safe Mama website (LeadSafeMama.com/ TamaraRubin.com).
The more page views we have each month, the more people we are demonstrably able to reach with the messages and information. Thanks to Google Analytics, and JetPack stats, these numbers are easy to track and measure.
In addition to the reach and impact of our work (which is the most important measure of success), with more page views on the website, more income is earned through advertising contracts to help pay for the cost of the work, allowing for the continuation, expansion of and growth in the scope of our work. Typically, about (an average of) one penny per page view is earned through advertising contracts here on the website.
In 2019 (pre-CoViD-19) we had 1,948,249 (almost 2 million!) unique individual visitors to the Lead Safe Mama website from over 200 countries. In 2020 that same number was nearly 1.2 million (1,165,327 visitors) — with the dip in readership likely due to readers focusing their health-related inquiries on the pandemic.
December 1, 2022 update: In 2022 we have already passed 1.6 million unique individual readers for the year (and are approaching 5,000,000 unique page views for the year – see charts at the bottom of the page) — with one full month left to go in the year. We have had an average of more than 1.5 million readers annually over the past several years (since 2019).
We estimate/project that Lead Safe Mama, LLC will be fully self-sufficient (where the income generated by the business covers all the costs of the business, including payments to those who work with us as subcontractors or employees) when unique page views on the site pass 7,200,000 annually (600,000 months). As of 12/1/22, we are approaching that goal and hope to reach that goal in 2023.
#6) Lead Safe Mama, LLC business standards and priorities include:
- Ensuring any statements we make in any forum (in writing, on video, or in speaking engagements) are evidence-based and rooted in science.
- Working only with corporate sponsors and business partners who adhere to strict standards for using 100% Lead-free materials in their current product manufacturing processes.
- Whenever possible, hire women who are returning to the workplace after being on leave for raising children.
- Positions right now are only subcontractor positions, but with growth and expansion, we hope to graduate toward earning enough income to hire employees and offer benefits, including health insurance.
#7) Is Lead Safe Mama, LLC a 501(c)3 Non-profit?
We are NOT a nonprofit. As such, contributions are NOT tax-deductible in any way. Thank you for being a partner in this work and in expanding the reach and impact of this message.