For those new to this website:
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). Tamara’s work was featured in Consumer Reports Magazine in February 2023 (March 2023 print edition).
November 18, 2022 – Friday
Green Sprouts recalls / ceases sale of 35,216 Lead-contaminated baby bottles.
11/18/22 PM Update:
The recall notice that was on the Green Sprouts website this morning (and is shown below in full) was taken down from their website this afternoon (more info here.)
The owner of Green Sprouts emailed me later this afternoon with a (ridiculous) explanation (as to why the recall was removed from their site). We are keeping this original recall notice up on the Lead Safe Mama website in the interest of investigative journalism / reporting – as it documents the original notice Green Sprouts posted.
November 23, 2023 Update:
September 19. 2022: Lead Safe Mama, LLC first reported about this issue (demanding a recall of the Stainless Steel Green Sprouts branded baby bottles with Leaded sealing dots that tested positive for 468,800 ppm Lead) on September 19, 2022 – in response to communicating with a LeadSafeMama.com reader who had been in touch noting concerns for Lead found in her baby’s Green Sprouts stainless bottle. Our full initial report and summary of the issue can be found here on this link.
September 20, 2022: In our initial report, we shared information with Lead Safe Mama readers on how to report a CPSC violation to help initiate a recall. On September 20, 2022 – we received confirmation from at least one LeadSafeMama.com reader that she had filed the report (per the instructions in our original article).
On November 3, 2022: We received comments on our initial post (as well as private e-mails) from readers in Asheville, North Carolina indicating Green Sprouts owners were in the process of initiating a recall on these items — yet had (possibly personally) distributed the bottles in question (“for free”) to local school children as “Trick-or-Treat” giveaways on Halloween(!) In response to these communications, Lead Safe Mama, LLC formally filed a separate CPSC violation notice that day. Link to that CPSC violation filing is here. As part of this communication thread, we learned that a notice had been sent out by the Asheville, NC schools about the potential distribution of these lead-contaminated bottles on Halloween. That image is below (continue reading below the image):
On November 4, 2022: We received a follow-up e-mail from the same reader. This contained a follow up e-mail [screenshot] (also apparently from the Asheville City Schools) with an update which seems to be from the owner of Green Sprouts (or another member of the Green Sprouts team). Image below (continue reading below the image):
November 5-17, 2022: Over the next two weeks I received several communications from two concerned parents in Asheville, NC with updates on the issue.
November 8, 2022: I received my first communication from Becky Cannon, the owner of Green Sprouts. She has sent me at total of four e-mails over the past two weeks. Here’s a link with all of those emails (and my responses).
November 17, 2022: I received an e-mail from the one of the concerned local parents in Asheville, NC – mentioning the formal recall for the products (the recall statement issued by Green Sprouts.) This is how I learned of the actual recall of the products (and then began searching for it online) — as I, in fact, did not see any public notice of recall prior to receiving this e-mail (yesterday.)
November 18, 2022: In my most recent e-mail to Becky Cannon – the owner of Green Sprouts, I invited Becky to make a difference (to put her money where her mouth is) by financially underwriting the upcoming Lead Safe Mama, LLC public awareness campaign about Lead in baby bottles that we intend to run in the New York City Subways as soon as we have secured full funding for the campaign.
November 17/18, 2022: In response to the recall notice (posted below) issued by Green Sprouts please note: I tried searching for this recall on Green Sprouts’ website and while it is there, it cannot easily be found using the search bar that is on their site. Instead you can find this direct notice on their site by putting “Green Sprouts Recall” in your browser’s search function. Here’s the direct link to the recall notice. Here’s what came up when searching using Safari tonight:
I have included the EXACT text from the Green Sprouts recall page below (in text form) and below that, screenshots of the recall notice as it appears on their website today. I do want to clearly state that I think this recall notice is insufficient in many ways – not limited to its lack of visibility and the dismissive language chosen for the public statement.
Most important: it is insufficient in that it is not is not readily findable — not prominently displayed on the Green Sprouts website – nor on their Instagram page (nor any other social media or web-based communication forms that I could find in their name). To demonstrate this concern (the concern that Green Sprouts has not appropriately notified the public of the recall of these Lead-containing baby products), I have included screenshots of their website and Instagram home page from tonight, below, as well (scroll to the bottom to see these and other images.)
The specific elements of the language that I feel are inappropriate and dismissive (below) are:
- that the risk is allegedly negligible (I believe, based on my extensive experience working with families, that the risk is in fact high once the product fails — given the extreme amount of Lead in the component) and
- that the Leaded component is allegedly “inaccessible under normal use.” As my original article discussing this product outlines in detail, “normal use” by a baby includes throwing, and therefore potential damage to the seal which causes the bottom cap to pop off exposing the Lead (a fully–predictable failure in “normal use” — as also seen with the Pura Kiki bottles in 2017; the bottles which were copied nearly identically to create the Leaded Green Sprouts product – here’s the link to the Pura Kiki conversation, in case you missed that).
Exact recall text – as copied from the Green Sprouts recall notice on their website, early in the morning on Friday, November 18, 2022:
Supporting the health and wellbeing of families and the natural world has been the top priority at Green Sprouts since our founding in 1982. In keeping with our mission to provide safe, intentionally designed goods that accessibly meet families’ needs while helping to protect the environment, we submit the natural materials we use and our products to the most stringent international testing standards available.
We use third-party, Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)-compliant labs that have been registered and approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to ensure that testing of our products is completed without bias and per established regulations and agreed-upon safety standards. Based on our lab results and the knowledge we have today, our products continue to meet those standards.
We were recently made aware that our Stainless-Steel Sippy Cups, Sip & Straw Cups, and Straw Bottles were manufactured with a solder dot containing lead that creates a vacuum seal between the internal and external steel layers. Testing of this component was omitted by the CPSC-approved third party lab because this part of the product is inaccessible under normal use. Had we been aware that a component containing lead in these products could become accessible, we wouldn’t have put them on the market; now that we know, we are voluntarily recalling these products. There is negligible risk to the health and safety of users. We are undertaking the costs and challenges of this recall voluntarily because our customers’ health and safety must come first.
As we approach the redesign of these products, whose benefits for keeping drinks cold safely have made them a popular choice for parents, we will ensure that lead is not used as a soldering material, no matter whether it would be accessible.
If you have one of the Stainless-Steel products named above, please fill out the form below. We encourage you to use the plant-plastic and silicone lid and spout with other Green Sprouts cups and bottles, and you can safely dispose of the stainless-steel components in the trash.
Over the 40 years that we’ve been in business, we’ve continuously made new discoveries and are improving the safety of the materials we use and the way in which our products are manufactured every day. We are constantly learning and growing, and hope that you will continue to share in this process with us for the next 40 years—and beyond.
After this text on their site there is a form to request a replacement or refund, and the following text:
Name of Products
Sprout Ware Sippy Cup made from Plants and Stainless Steel (6oz)
Sprout Ware Sip & Straw Cup made from Plants and Stainless Steel (6oz)
Sprout Ware Straw Bottle made from Plants and Stainless Steel (8oz)
If base cap breaks off a solder dot containing lead is exposed.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Stainless-Steel bottles with detachable base and fill out the form above. Used products returned from consumers will be destroyed.
For additional information, contact Green Sprouts, Inc. at 800-876-1574 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, or email Green Sprouts at ContactUs@GreenSprouts.com.
Units: About 24,292 bottles in Green Sprouts inventory (in addition to about 358 bottles in Amazon’s warehouse inventory), about 8,917 bottles sold in the USA, about 340 bottles sold in Europe, about 144 bottles sold in Australia, and about 1,165 bottles sold in UAE. [Color added for emphasis. These numbers added together equal 35,216 total units.]
The recalled Stainless-Steel bottles with detachable base are sold as a single-colored bottle item with one of three closure options: (1) a silicone sippy spout with colored plastic lid, collar and handles, (2) a silicone sippy spout with colored SproutWare lid, collar and handles, or (3) a silicone straw with SproutWare screw-on flip cap. The bottles are sold in one of two sizes, 8-ounces and 6-ounces. All stainless-steel bottles with a removeable base cover are affected including the colors Aqua, Pink, Green, Navy, and Grey.
CPSC and Green Sprouts, Inc. are aware of 6 reports of incidents where the base has detached from the bottle body. No injuries have been reported.
buybuyBaby and Whole Foods nationwide and online at amazon.com, babyhaven.com, drugstore.com, and target.com
Importer: Green Sprouts, Inc. of Asheville, N.C.
Manufactured in: China
Here is the link to their recall page (if you have one of these products and want to fill out the form): https://greensproutsbaby.com/pages/swssbrecall
Screenshots from the Green Sprouts website related to this recall notice (please continue reading below the images) – I have taken each of these screenshots to include the time and date stamp from my computer as well (upper right corner).
Here are images from the Green Sprouts website and Instagram page today – showing no signs or alerts of the recall – also time-and-date-stamped (continue reading below the images):