With plastic’s toxicity exposed, many people are switching over to stainless steel to fill their water bottle needs. Stainless steel has to be safer, right? No BPA or other chemicals are leaching into the water from it, right? Unfortunately, this might not be the case, as many popular brands of stainless steel water bottles have parts that contain a high percentage of lead.
The Natural Baby Mama and some of her readers decided to test some of the items they already owned for lead. Tamara Rubin, a lead-poisoning prevention advocate certified to use an XRF machine, did the testing.
In case you are unaware, lead is a neurotoxin that causes permanent brain damage. Children are even more susceptible to lead exposure, suffering lifelong negative effects if exposed, and so children’s products cannot contain more than 90 ppm of lead. But it is of course better to avoid this substance altogether when possible.
When manufacturers claim that their products are stainless steel, they are not lying, but the issue is that parts of the water bottles sometimes do contain lead, like the solder at the bottom. Natural Baby Mama and her team were absolutely shocked at what they found after testing several different brands of water bottles that claim to be free from lead.
Have a look at what happened via Natural Baby Mama after testing many so-called lead free water bottles:
The dot on the bottom (which is a lead solder point) of the PlanetBox insulated water bottle tested for 660,000ppm lead! This was used by a child whose hand were touching and holding the bottom of that water bottle and the lead solder point. Children put their hands in their mouth all the time. Lead exposure from the bottom of this water bottle straight into the mouth of a child is a huge risk that needs to be taken seriously.
From the PlanetBox website: “Our products are independently certified to be safe from lead, phthalates, BPA and other toxic chemicals.”
This water bottle has a plastic base that when on covers the lead solder. However, it is not fully contained and exposure still could happen with the plastic bottom on. Also, many parents have reported that they use this water bottle without the plastic base.
I recently found out that PlanetBox was also selling a similar water bottle that had NO plastic base so there is direct contact with the lead solder.
PlantBox has been notified of this issue as well as the CPSC.
The dot on the bottom of Pura Kiki insulated water bottle tested and was 397,000ppm lead +/- 3,000. This was used by a child that was lead poisoned living in an old home that had lead paint. Notice how the dot is scratched off the bottom. This dot was scratched off by the lead poisoned child. Her mother will be testing her lead levels again after her constant exposure to this water bottle.
The great thing about Pura Kiki is that they have a silicone sippy top which makes their water bottles completely plastic free. The lead dot is only on an older insulated bottle so buying Pura Kiki non-insulated stainless steel water bottle plus the silicone sippy top is still an option. Pura Kiki has third party testing showing that their current product line is lead free (which I link below).
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From Pura Kiki’s website “The only NONTOXIC CERTIFIED™ bottles in the world. Pura products have been certified by an independent third party (MadeSafe.org) as NONTOXIC, and are the only such bottles on the global market to achieve this status.”
Pura Kiki has been amazingly responsive to this mom who contact them about the lead dot at the bottom of the water bottle. I’ve been impressed and will continue to buy products from them. Pura Kiki maintains that this water bottle should have had a metal seal covering the dot. This mom states she did not remove the metal seal which was covering the dot. This water bottle was an older style than what they sell now (this mom purchased in 2015). They have testing showing that their new insulated water bottle is lead safe (see below for info on their new bottle). Pure Kiki asks if you have any questions or concerns to feel free to reach out to them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eco Vessel Insulated Water Bottle
This was sent in by a reader. After she read this post she tested her Eco Vessel since it had an exposed lead solder dot on the bottom. She used an at home lead testing kit and it is positive for lead (the red on the test strip indicates lead). There was a seal that covered the lead dot but it broke off several months ago. Her son was using this water bottle with the exposed lead.
From the Eco Vessel web site ” DO YOUR PRODUCTS CONTAIN LEAD, PHTHALATES, BPA, OR OTHER HARMFUL MATERIAL? No. All of our products are made without the use of harmful or leaching materials and chemicals….”
From Eco Vessel – this is an older model that they do not sell. Even with that information the bottom cap should not come off very easily unless unusual wear and tear. When assembled it looks like the Klean Kanteen & Yeti posted above. They have third party tested their bottles to be safe from lead. They adhere to European standards which are much more strict than US standards.
If you have an Eco Vessel that is intact there should be no concerned of exposure.
Again, this is related to an older, no longer sold water bottle. I included it in case anyone happens to have one with the bottom missing. If you have a newer Eco Vessel you have no risk of exposure from the lead solder as it is completely encapsulated with a base that isn’t removable. The newer water bottles look like the one posted below (if I owned this I would have zero concern about using it as the solder is completely enclosed.)”
What We Can Take Away
From the above information we can see that it is generally older water bottles that pose a risk, and it’s not that you will be drinking lead in your water, but rather handling an exposed lead solder. It’s nevertheless a problem that so many brands claim to be lead free even though they are not. Perhaps these regulations aren’t as strict as they should be?
If you are using any of the aforementioned water bottles, it may be a good idea to stop immediately. If you are looking for a guaranteed safer option, try one of the bottles below, or just opt for glass! There are many different types of glass water bottles that have a rubber guard to prevent breakage, and with glass there is no metallic taste that you often find with the stainless steel variety.
- Kleen Kanteen Insulated Water Bottle – No exposed lead solder
- Yeti Insulated Water Bottle – No exposed lead solder
- New EcoVessel Insulated – No exposed lead solder
- Healthy Human Insulated Water Bottle – Powder coated painting, no risk of exposed lead solder with intact paint.
If you are still unsure, you can buy a lead testing kit for super cheap and swab to find out. It is worth the hassle, as lead is highly toxic and it is very important to keep it away from your children and yourself!
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