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.
Please sign this petition:
CPSC VIOLATION REPORT
Saturday — February 4, 2023
Glass baby bottles manufactured under the brand Lansinoh by the company Pigeon Corporation (based in Japan) and sold in stores in the United States and via online vendors (including through Amazon dot com) have tested positive for unsafe levels of Lead in the exterior decorative painted markings/ logo markings and measurement markings. This is for ALL models and sizes of glass Lansinoh bottles manufactured and sold by Lansinoh through as recently as early-2022, and likely later.
CPSC INFORMED DATE
I originally informed the CPSC of this issue (through e-mails to administrators via a friend of Lead Safe Mama, LLC who is affiliated with the CPSC) on December 20, 2021. We did not file a formal violation report at that time because previous violation reports filed by Lead Safe Mama, LLC for Lead-contaminated children’s items had not been responded to or acted upon by the CPSC (under the previous administration), and we wanted to see if approaching the CPSC through different channels could result in a response (given the urgency of the concern).
Alas, we did not receive any response from the CPSC after these communications were forwarded about this matter. (I understand that in the past 6 years, your ability to take action has been severely restricted, and a consequent backlog may be the likely cause of the lack of action on this issue.)
Given the CPSC’s encouraging recent quick response to members of the Lead Safe Mama community filing a violation report in response to our findings of the Lead-contaminated Insulated Stainless Steel Baby Bottles/Sippy Cups manufactured by Green Sprouts (out of Asheville, North Carolina), we decided it might be a good time to formally submit this violation report for the Lansinoh Lead-painted glass baby bottles (and several other products that we have not yet heard back from the CPSC on — regarding previously-communicated violations). It is for this reason we are filing this report now (in February of 2023), — despite it now constituting “old” news [again we first confirmed the paint on these bottles was high-Lead paint (and reported this publicly at that time on the Lead Safe Mama website) back in December of 2021.
COMPANY INFORMED DATE:
Lead Safe Mama, LLC first reported this issue on our website (please do not redact our business name and website from your public filing of this report) Lead Safe Mama dot com on December 19, 2021. Lansinoh/ Pigeon was made aware of this problem shortly after that. Lansinoh responded to our findings on February 24, 2022, and so has been aware of these findings at least as of February 2022.
FAILURE OF COMPLIANCE WITH DUTY TO REPORT:
To our knowledge — since the time the company (Lansinoh / Pigeon) was made aware of this issue (the illegal levels of Lead in the paint of their glass baby bottles) — Lansinoh has not made any public statements to customers about the issue, nor have they issued a voluntary recall on the product nor did they self-report the violation to the CPSC that we are aware of (as is required by law when a company learns of a CPSIA violation in a product they manufacture that is intended for use by children).
We are referring to the self-reporting requirement noted on this CPSC link, https://www.cpsc.gov/Business–Manufacturing/Recall-Guidance, under the “Duty To Report” tab:
“If you are a manufacturer, importer, distributor, and/or retailer of consumer products, you have a legal obligation to immediately report the following types of information to the CPSC:
- A defective product that could create a substantial risk of injury to consumers;
- A product that creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death;
- A product that fails to comply with an applicable consumer product safety rule or with any other rule, regulation, standard, or ban under the CPSA or any other statute enforced by the CPSC;
- An incident in which a child (regardless of age) chokes on a marble, small ball, latex balloon, or other small part contained in a toy or game and that, as a result of the incident, the child dies, suffers a serious injury, ceases breathing for any length of time, or is treated by a medical professional; and
- Certain types of lawsuits. (This applies to manufacturers and importers only and is subject to the time periods detailed in Sec. 37 of the CPSA).
Failure to fully and immediately report this information may lead to substantial civil or criminal penalties. CPSC staff’s advice is “when in doubt, report.”
We hope you use this measure (the allowance for civil and criminal penalties in this matter) to the fullest extent possible to discourage Lansinoh/ Pigeon and other glass baby bottle manufacturers from painting their baby bottles with high-Lead paint.
These glass Lansinoh-brand bottles are manufactured, marketed, and sold with the intention that they be used by the very youngest babies as a “beneficial” alternative for mothers who are also breastfeeding their babies. Given the fact that these glass Lansinoh bottles are painted with high-Lead -content paint, this is particularly deceptive marketing. From advertising for these products: Statement #1) “GREAT FOR NURSING MOMS- These breastfeeding bottles with NaturalWave Nipples are clinically proven to reduce nipple confusion so babies can switch back and forth between the breast and bottle” and Statement #2) “PREMIUM DURABLE GLASS- Made from premium borosilicate glass, these sturdy baby bottles are heat and thermal shock resistant. They’re also BPA and BPS free”
CURRENT 90 PPM LIMIT IN COATINGS:
The CPSIA of 2008 requires that any component of a product manufactured for use by children should not have paint or coatings on that product that test positive for levels of 90 ppm Lead or higher; the painted logo and measurement markings on the glass Lansinoh bottles (painted with light purple / lavender colored paint on the exterior of their glass bottles) consistently tests positive for Lead at levels of 3,500 ppm and higher. This is especially concerning because it is the area of the bottle that would be touched and held by the infant for self-feeding purposes. This concern is compounded by the fact that babies often suck their hands / put their hands in their mouth (at any time, but especially likely and including after holding a bottle for a feeding, with no hand washing by the parent in-between.) The paint on these bottles also tested positive for traces of two known carcinogens: Cadmium (50 +/- 3 ppm) and Antimony (17 +/- 5 ppm)
INSTRUMENTATION USED FOR TESTING
The Lead levels in the paint on these products as reported by Lead Safe Mama, LLC were determined using a freshly-calibrated Niton XL3T XRF instrument testing in Consumer Goods mode, by a trained, certified, and experienced operator. [It is our understanding that this is the exact instrumentation used by the CPSC to screen consumer goods for unsafe levels of Lead.]
NO SAFE LEVEL OF LEAD:
As you know, all Federal agencies agree that there is no safe level of Lead exposure for children. There is no defensible reason for a company to manufacture baby bottles with Lead-painted coatings in the current decade (especially considering that Lead-free alternatives are readily available). There is therefore no defensible reason for the CPSC to not take immediate action on this issue.
This is an egregious violation of the CPSIA of 2008, especially as the customers who purchase these bottles to feed their infants are specifically purchasing them because they are advertised to be a healthy, safer, more environmentally-friendly choice than plastic bottles.
ISSUE SPECIFICALLY LIMITED TO GLASS BOTTLES:
Lansinoh also manufactures plastic baby bottles — however, their plastic bottles are not impacted by this concern (the painted logos / decorations and measurement markings on the Lansinoh plastic bottles are not painted with Lead paint.)
NUK RECALL AS PRECEDENT:
As a precedent for demanding a recall for these products, I will remind you of the recall the CPSC announced on July 28, 2022 (in response to a violation report submitted by Lead Safe Mama, LLC on June 16, 2021) for the glass NUK brand baby bottles (manufactured in Germany) which had decorations and measurement markings (gray and white painted stars with white logo) similarly painted with high Lead-paint.
TOY RECALL AS PRECEDENT:
Another precedent for this recall is the NERF Super Soaker xP20 Water Gun plastic toy guns recalled on August 19, 2020 where it was “only” the decorative sticker / logo marking on the toy that tested positive for high levels of Lead. The level of Lead found in the Nerf guns was approximately 2,761 ppm, significantly below the level of Lead found in the paint on these glass Lansinoh brand baby bottles. The concern for Lead painted glass baby bottles should be treated with at least equal – if not greater – import and urgency (in terms of the CPSC’s response to this violation report in initiating a recall), given the demographic of young children using the baby bottles and the increased relative potential for harm as compared to the potential harm that may be caused by a logo marking sticker on a Nerf gun.)
LIKELY CORPORATE RESPONSE TO THIS REPORT:
Separately, the manufacture of these baby bottles (Lansinoh / Pigeon) may assert (in their response to this CPSIA violation report) that the high-Lead paint on the outside of their glass baby bottles is “not ‘migratable’ Lead” or “not ‘bio-available’ Lead” and they may also assert that these bottles “comply the required leach-testing standards for Lead at the time of manufacture”. Unfortunately, these assertions (and possible defenses that may be raised by the company) are irrelevant — not only when looking at CPSIA Lead-content limits in coatings for items intended for use by children, but also when one takes into account the “normal use as intended” for glass baby bottles: glass baby bottles are frequently washed in hot water with detergents; sterilized in boiling water or sterilized in a steam bath. All of those activities are normal and anticipated use of baby bottles, and all of those activities can result in the wear, deterioration and increased bio-availability of the high levels of Lead in the paint on the surface of these bottles – paint in an area right where babies put their hands when holding the bottles. The company specifically states in their advertising: “EASY TO USE AND CLEAN- These dishwasher safe baby bottles only have four pieces and can easily be cleaned and reassembled as often as needed.”
NO EVIDENCE THAT THE PROBLEM HAS BEEN REMEDIED
Lead Safe Mama, LLC has searched online on the Lansinoh website, the CPSC website and elsewhere and has not yet been able to find any evidence that any recall was initiated or ordered, nor any evidence that Lansinoh has switched to Lead-free paints on their glass bottles since we made them aware of this concern [they may have switched to Lead-free paints since we alerted them of the issue, but we have seen no evidence suggesting that]. Even if they have switched/do [at some point in the future] quietly switch to a Lead-free paint, a formal government recall should still be made for all bottles manufactured with Lead paint prior to the date that any switch was [or will be] made AND we request the the CPSC use their enforcement power to demand that Lansinoh publish a highly visible notice on their website and social media channels alerting the pubic to the fact that their bottles are painted with Lead paint and should not be used, along with (if relevant) a notice informing the public at what date in 2022 they switched to Lead-free paint (if, in fact they took that step in remedying the problem in response to being alerted to Lead Safe Mama, LLC’s findings of Lead in the paint on their glass baby bottles.)
In the CPSC’s current violation report form there is not a place or way to note that it is not possible to know how many children have been impacted by this particular violation. The only choice is to select that a specific child has been impacted or that no children have been impacted. We respectfully request that you change this form so it is easy to select the option that it is LIKELY that children have been impacted, but not confirmed. This should be considered to be the case with all CPSIA violations that are related to Lead paint on children’s products. Any amount of Lead exposure is too much. Lead paint is the most likely source of Lead exposure for children. Children are not lab rats. The amount of Lead exposure caused by a specific product (in the context of other potential Lead exposure in a child’s life) may not be measurable as an isolated quantifiable number by current blood Lead testing typically available in most clinics and hospitals – however the concern is not for a specific incidental exposure caused by a specific product. The concern is for a children’s product that is painted with lead paint contributing to total aggregate Lead exposure in a child’s life – which can add up to measurable levels and specific significant impacts – whether or not it was known that the child was definitively impacted by that particular product at the time of exposure.
We sincerely request that the CPSC not redact the name of our woman-owned small business from this violation report. Separately, we request that the CPSC include the name of Lead Safe Mama, LLC in any press releases on the matter when a recall for this product is publicized – with the press release noting that Lead Safe Mama, LLC was responsible for bringing this CPSIA violation to your attention; the act of not disclosing our work as the source – in effect – constitutes discrimination — and it strips our work of credibility by its omission.
Because Lead Safe Mama, LLC’s consumer goods advocacy work is free from corporate influence and is undertaken without corporate funding, public awareness of our testing findings (and of our work supporting the critical work of the CPSC) is key in making it possible for us to continue to do this work (to continue supporting your work!) protecting countless children from exposure to Lead and other toxicants in their homes, schools and communities.
Not acknowledging the Lead Safe Mama, LLC advocacy community (currently over 1.8 million people strong) for our work that is instrumental in generating CPSC recalls – at a time when we depend on increased public awareness and consequent social media coverage to be able to continue doing the work we do – would be unfair.
In support of this report the following link has all posts and articles about this issue and this brand – including our communications with the company and the original test results for their products published in December of 2021 and our December 2021 letter that was forwarded to the CPSC by our CPSC-linked contact: https://tamararubin.com/category/lansinoh/