Stanley Cups Contain Lead — Is It Dangerous?

Influencers on TikTok have tested their Stanley cups and found that some of their tumblers contain lead. The company has responded to the claims, but will their popularity wane?

Stanley Quencher cups have caused mayhem in Target stores across the United States, with influencers sharing videos of their shelves upon shelves and different colors of the trendy 40 oz tumblers. In 2023, the company made $750 million in revenue, which was ten times the amount they made in 2022. And it's clearly showing in their uptick in memes, videos, and reels on social media.

Many influencers love their products, which are advertised as environmentally friendly, even adorning them with gems and adding on gadgets like iPhone holders. They keep drinks cold for 11 hours and keep them hot for at least seven, keeping the girl bosses happy all day long.

Recently, TikTokers have been looking into the safety of the tumblers and testing them for lead with an at-home Lead Test Swab Kit. The results were worrisome and showed that, yes, some of these tumblers do contain lead, but is it dangerous?

@fo.od_forthought DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH- THIS IS JUST MY EXPERIENCE & OPINION. I genuinely did this for our own peace of mind, because I will never just *blindly believe* something this serious on TikTok (or anything online and you shouldn’t either). A friend sent me articles and TT videos saying my favorite cups were found to have lead. Rather than just believing, my husband and I decided to order a small lead test from Amazon, and l urge you to test your @stanley_brand and other similar versions to make your own decisions. 2 of my Stanley’s came back positive, not all of them (we had 6) but for me that’s enough to put them in a box and hope for a refund or recall, and to share publicly because I know I have mine often enough that I want to protect anyone else who may be like me because I fell for the craze and truly LOVED mine and recommended them to others. Use your own judgement, seek your own answers, and make your own decisions. 📸Video: @ alyssabuon #stanleycup #stanley #leadpoisoning #toxicproducts #nontoxicliving #leadtoxicty ♬ original sound - Food For Thought

The risks of lead

Anyone under the age of six who has ingested lead can get poisoning that is permanent and disabling, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Lead can also cause harm in adults, contributing to high blood pressure, heart issues, and kidney damage. A 2019 study found that 5 million adults around the world die from cardiovascular disease related to lead exposure.

Lead is a naturally occurring metal found in the soil, and it is especially in high concentrations in urban areas, according to the CDC. Kitchen appliances, gasoline, toys, jewelry, ceramics, electronics, and cosmetics all once commonly included lead until the early 1900s. Since then, regulations have been in place to reduce the use of lead.

Stanley responded to NBC News about the allegations and the safety concerns that customers have been having online. They claimed that they use lead pellet in the manufacturing process for insulation. However, the lead is covered by stainless steel and cannot be penetrated. Unless the stainless steel barrier is removed, liquids will not be contaminated.

“Our engineering and supply chain teams are making progress on innovative, alternative materials for use in the sealing process,” the spokesperson said.

If the barrier in the cup is removed or comes off, customers can submit a claim through the Stanley website.

For now, we don't know how this will impact sales or if it will at all. Stanley doesn't seem to be worried about any adverse health outcomes for the time being.

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