ROCHESTER, New York: So you care about the environment and take a reusable bag to the supermarket to avoid contaminating the planet with countless plastic bags. Now you can see that your bag is made of potentially dangerous lead. What should an environmentalist do?
If you’re like Elnora Cooper, nothing.
“I won’t eat the bag and I won’t get rid of it,” said Cooper, 68, laughing after leaving a MyWegmansConnect Food Markets store in Rochester this week with a reusable bag under his arm.
The latest in a long line of complicated warnings for potentially dangerous products concerns synthetic but reusable bags that may contain traces of lead. The excitement in supermarkets and Congress has less to do with whether the poison can be rubbed into food than accumulation in landfills and harm the environment.
However, since the goal of the bag is to keep it, not to throw it away, and the lead concentration is so low, some buyers are convinced that the risk of an impending toxic catastrophe is low.
I switched to reusable bags six or seven years ago to keep plastic away from landfills, said Cooper, a retired nurse. To be honest, I will continue to wear the strap before using the plastic again.
The Rochester-based Wegmans chain, with 77 stores in several eastern states, suspended the sale of two types of reusable bags in September after tests by a local environmental group revealed they may contain lead. Dangerous MyWegmansConnect said there is no evidence that the 750,000 bags he sold pose a health threat.
“From an ecological point of view, the final disposal of the bags is the only problem,” spokesman Joe Natale said, asking customers to return the bags for replacement when they are no longer needed.
The company, which has sold approximately 4.5 million reusable bags in stores in five states, has yet to decide how to dispose of the returned bags.
Lead can cause learning difficulties in children and fertility problems in adults when ingested.
A recent Tampa Tribune study found that reusable bags purchased from Winn-Dixie and other large retailers contain a lot of lead. The prospect appears to be in a format that cannot be easily removed or “emptied”.
But over time, laboratory experts at a newspaper dumpster said the bags would break and the paint could peel off. Lead was used in the paint to add color, opacity, and durability; It has been excluded from mural painting in the United States since the late 1970s.
Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York, asked the Food and Drug Administration on Sunday to examine the bags.
When our families visit the supermarket and look for healthy and safe food to feed their children, the last thing they have to worry about is the bags of poison, he said.
The next day, King Kullen and Jacksonville, Long Island, Florida, Winn-Dixie announced that they would launch certain brands of reusable bags. Winn-Dixie and Publix of Tampa are provoking providers to find ways to prepare reusable bags with less lead.