VPIRG Statement on Lead-Containing Mugs

“We want to make sure people across the region are aware that Vermont Public Radio mugs from 2002-2011 were found to contain lead. The lead contamination was found in the painted design on the outside of the mug. Since no level of lead is safe, we recommend people stop using these mugs immediately.

Even at very low levels of exposure, lead is harmful to human health and is associated with learning disabilities, decreased IQ, attention deficit disorder, behavior issues, nervous system damage, kidney damage and more.

Finding lead in VPR mugs is a wake-up call, showing the pervasiveness of toxic chemicals in consumer products. The fact that even a VPR coffee mug can be toxic just proves that we need a more comprehensive approach to ensure that products are safe before they get into consumers’ hands – or children’s mouths.

Fortunately, we successfully fought for passage of the Vermont Lead in Consumer Products Law in 2008, which sets strict limits on lead in children’s products – including items marketed to children and any items whose handling by children would be “reasonably foreseeable.” This law means the state can take any necessary action to help ensure our families are protected from lead exposure moving forward, and it’s our understanding that the Attorney General’s office is looking into the matter.  But ultimately, Vermont needs to make sure products are healthy and safe before they reach our homes, so we’re calling on legislators to put in place more proactive and comprehensive protections from toxic chemicals in consumer products we all use every day – like our coffee mugs.”

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