Thought you were doing something good by using reusable grocery bags? Think again! Senator Chuck Schumer is looking to launch a federal investigation following a report that lead has been discovered in some of these bags. He is contacting the FDA, the EPA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission regarding the bags, which are sold nationwide; he hopes to have the bags banned immediately.
According to WCBS, the lead is "in a form that was not easily extracted" but there is concern that with time the bags may wear down and the paint could flake off, which—amongst other things—could eventually accumulate in landfills and create a an environmental hazard. Schumer also noted that "lead when it gets into your system takes years to accumulate to have harmful effects and these bags are relatively new.”
The bags are made in China, and Schumer wants to hold the country accountable—on Saturday he said, “China has no regard for American safety. It’s a place notorious for lax safety and health standards. A record of manufactured products with things like cadmium and lead come from China.”
One paper did some testing, and found that the highest lead levels were found in bags that have elaborate designs or illustrations covering the surface. (Maybe that store in Queens was just trying to keep their customers safe!)