Saturday – January 14, 2023
Thank you for taking the time to come to my office – (in my home!) – to meet with me today. I am still processing all of the things we discussed, and may write up some more comprehensive thoughts and feedback later.
First and foremost, I want to reiterate that the opportunity here (to make a bigger difference) would be to sue the Consumer Product Safety Commission for certifying the two labs you used to inspect your products – the two labs that erroneously “confirmed” your cups were “Lead-free” — when, in fact, they consistently have a component substrate that tests positive for Lead – with levels high as 500,000 ppm – at the center of the bottom of your cups (in the area of the “sealing dot”).
There’s simply no way that your cups (as manufactured) should have passed any certification by a CPSC-accredited lab. This constitutes gross negligence – both on behalf of the lab and on behalf of the CPSC for issuing the certification to that lab (for deeming the lab qualified enough to test children’s products for CPSC compliance.)
If you take this on (suing both the CPSC and the two labs you used), you have the opportunity to effect vitally-needed change – change towards the goal of ensuring that all products manufactured and sold for the feeding of children (and for the preparation of food for children) are in fact 100% Lead-free. If we can hold the CPSC to stricter standards (in terms of compliance with existing regulations) we might actually have a hope of protecting children.
In 2023 there’s no excuse for any Leaded products to enter our homes — especially products that were bought with the express intention of using them to feed our children. Separately, I don’t expect that suing your manufactures (for lying to you about using Lead-free components in your manufacturing when you had expressly demanded Lead-free components) will be fruitful — given they are in China, and you are here in the United States. I don’t know that there are useful legal mechanisms that cross the borders in a case like this – outside of the relevant U.S. regulatory agencies possibly issuing sanctions against the specific factory – sanctions prohibiting this company from manufacturing any additional children’s products for import.
If you appreciate the information you learned from my work – and if you appreciate our conversation today (in spite of the circumstances that precipitated our meeting) – I would like you to consider making a contribution (commensurate with the value you received from our conversation) to my GoFundMe, in support of the legal fund to support my work. Here’s the link for that: https://www.gofundme.com/f/leadsafemamas-lead-poisoning-prevention-advocacy
I want to reiterate what I said in our meeting today, as well: While I don’t feel the need to write about each of the many samples (from your brand and other brands) that we tested today (given they were fundamentally “more of the same” – as examples of this industry-wide problem — which I have been writing about / sounding the alarm about for more than a decade [long before you started your company]) I do still intend file a violation report for your Cupkin children’s cups to alert the CPSC of the issue, in order to support an official / formal CPSC recall of the products. This is the first step in holding the CPSC accountable for their mistakes (which directly and tangibly impacted you and your bottom line in the end). I will specifically mention the CPSC’s responsibility in this (that they allowed for a Lab to carry their certification when the Lab was not capable of carrying out the testing required), in my violation report. I have a few more things on my “to do list” before I can get to that, but I will share the link with you as soon as it is filed.
Given this example (your company’s situation) of blatant incompetence exhibited by the CPSC is following the recent news (earlier this week) about the baby swings being recalled years ago [yet still killing children today], your situation clearly supports the current narrative in the news cycle that indicates the CPSC is not doing enough to protect our children (nor are they doing enough to support American manufacturers — given the agency certified labs to do this testing — that were obviously not qualified to carry out this testing to the rigorously-thorough degree required).
Beyond the opportunity for you to make a (self-directed) contribution in support of my advocacy work via the link above (with no obligation of course!), I would also like to suggest a potential opportunity for possible partnership that could benefit both of us AND serve the greater good. I thought of this idea after you left today. Given your relative financial stability [and my current lack of financial stability, precipitated by 7 years of defending my advocacy work against false allegations]. I though it might be fun if – instead following through on your idea of buying an XRF instrument just for your manager to use to test batches of your own product, you could invest in an XRF instrument (a fully loaded XL5?! 🙂 ) for Lead Safe Mama, LLC — and in return (in trade), I would provide testing services to your business (without charge) for 5 years. This makes sense in a way as the testing would then be independent (outside of your business) and therefore unbiased. It also makes sense given we are so close geographically; I can easily drive to Seattle periodically to do any testing you need done… and the instrument would be used not only for your in-house testing but would also be put to constant use to test a broad cross-section of consumer goods — thus benefiting “the greater good.” It’s just an idea – but I thought it couldn’t hurt to suggest it. If we did go ahead with an arrangement like this, we would be able to test batches of your product, and then you would only send items to labs for official lab certification only AFTER you are certain they are actually safe — based on comprehensive XRF analysis screenings of every component and area of your products. Again – just an idea. 🙂
Lastly, after you left today, I chatted with my husband about the concern you voiced about potentially just consigning your “current inventory of 300,000 cups” to the landfill – in terms of what might be some alternative creative idea for dealing with any contaminated product. My husband (who is a guy who works with metal for his work making bicycles and bike trailers) pointed out that given your cups are stainless, you could most likely recycle them en masse – as long as the recycling initiative using any of these cups would have some kind of guaranteed managed enforcement of rigorous accountability & transparency…in disclosing that the stainless end-product of the recycling would be contaminated with traces of the Lead residue from the sealing dots (as even if some system were used to remove the Lead as a first step of the recycling process, there would still be Lead residue left behind).
Those are all of my follow-up thoughts in reaction to our meeting today.
Thank you for your openness and willingness to do the right thing and to keep moving forward in this inquiry. If, together, we can effect change across the industry (ensuring all baby and children feeding products from here on out are – by law – required to be actually Lead-free) that would be an amazing outcome — precipitated by what might otherwise be characterized as simply just one more manufacturing disaster.
I have also shared this email to you on my website.
Owner – Lead Safe Mama, LLC
Owner – Lead Safe Mama, LLC