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). 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 tested. Tamara’s work was featured in Consumer Reports Magazine in February of 2023 (March 2023 print edition).
Tuesday — July 25, 2023
On July 20, 2023, the CPSC finally issued a formal government recall notice for 346,000 Lead-contaminated children’s cups by Cupkin (that Lead Safe Mama, LLC reported on in detail in January 2023). Here are some relevant links:
- Our original detailed article from January 2023
- CPSC Recall Notice
- Schmidt Law Firm Coverage
- CNN Coverage
- USA Today Coverage
- Kansas City Star Coverage
There are a few key points of interest not being discussed in most of the news coverage of this article:
- The products were sold as “Lead-free.” Therefore, they were blatantly falsely advertised — a particularly incendiary element contributing to this dumpster fire for which the manufacturer has not made an effort to make amends — especially as this applies to its unchanged, exact same design of 20 oz. cups that are still for sale (see the image with a pink border above).
- The company pushed a corporate image of being a “family-owned small business” … this sympathetic characterization may, by strict definition, squeak by (as far as the IRS is concerned), but that image is less compelling, knowing that so far (according to the CPSC’s official recall announcement) 346,000 units have been recalled — with a retail price of about $21 for each unit, which works out to $7,266,000 in recalled (falsely advertised as Lead-free) products. This consideration is compounded by the fact that we’re talking about only one of this company’s product lines — in only one of this family’s multiple mass-market-oriented companies. At least in my opinion, this is obviously not the image most folks have in their mind when they hear the description “family-owned small business.”
- The 20 oz. version of the identical Cupkin brand cups (also sold/marketed as “Lead-free”) have shockingly not been recalled… because the company managed to convince the CPSC that these were not sold for use by children (even though countless Lead Safe Mama readers have shared with us that they also purchased these larger [Lead-contaminated] cups for use by their children, assuming they were — as advertised — “Lead-free” and safe for children!).
- We first reported the issue with this product with an Instagram post in October of 2022 (as a result of testing we did at an outreach event in North Carolina that month). We followed up by purchasing a new-in-box product and publishing a full write-up on our website in January of 2023. We informed the press of the issue in January of 2023, but they made no effort to cover the case at that time! In March of 2023, the company issued a recall notice, which we shared. We again informed the press of the issue at that time (with a Lead Safe Mama press release — link). Again, the press did not respond with any coverage — and the CPSC did not issue a notice about the Federal recall — until late-July 2023. That is nearly 7 months later. This timeline — the delay in federal recall and news coverage — is, in itself, a story worthy of investigation and coverage.