Monday, November 15, 2010

Even Reusable Bags Can Carry Environmental Risks" in the NYT

The New York Times reported today that some reusable bags made in China contain lead in their story "Even Reusable Bags Can Carry Environmental Risk." I am not surprised that these cheap reusable shopping bags contain lead. Lead is found in everything from lipstick to children's toys. Most of these products are made in China. I am thinking that lead in bags is less of a health impact than lead in lipstick and products that end up in the mouths of babies and lunch boxes. The real problem is not that reusable bags contain lead--the real problem is how many products contain lead.

Focusing on the bags as a problem misses the point. If they stop making reusable grocery bags which contain lead they will just use these materials to make other cheap products. Instead of boycotting reusable grocery bags, just check the country of origin of all products you are purchasing and assume anything made in China might contain lead--especially if it is made of cheap plastic--and if it is a cheap item.