Separating Fact from Fiction with regards to lead in stainless steel bottles

Due to recent media coverage around the safety a concerns of stainless steel water bottles have emerged, particularly regarding the presence of lead we thought it was a good time to separate fact from fiction and help you make the best choice when it comes to choosing a reusable water bottle.

Understanding Stainless Steel Composition

Stainless steel is a popular choice for water bottles due to its durability, corrosion resistance, and non-reactivity. It's typically composed of iron, chromium, nickel, and other trace elements. However, some low-quality stainless steel may contain contaminants like lead, which can pose health risks if they leach into the contents of the bottle.

What is lead?

Lead is a naturally occurring element found in small amounts in the earth’s crust. While it has some beneficial uses, it can be toxic to humans and animals. 

Why is lead being found in stainless steel water bottles and how to separate fact from fiction?

A recent media article exposed a popular stainless steel water bottle's soldering "button" and the base of the product which contained traces of lead. This raised eyebrows and put the spotlight on stainless steel water bottle across the globe.

It's a good movement to have more and more health conscious shoppers however, there is much filtering needed to be done to separate fact from fiction. For example, many water bottle brands have other products within their collection. Recently traces of lead was found in a popular brand's camp chair however, the media article pointed the finger at the brand as a whole which resulted in consumers questioning their food and drink products. 

What are soldering "buttons"

Each stainless steel water bottle is made differently. Majority are made by a single sheet of metal. A mould is punched into the metal causing it to become the shape of the bottle and the edges are welded together to create the product. Sometimes there's a "button" at the base of the bottle. In Cheeki's case there is a "button." which is referred to as Getter. This material is placed between the outer layer and inner layer of steel in our double-wall vacuum insulated products. This "Getter" is made from various materials (not lead) which takes the air out of the vacuum layer. The material can turn darker in colour and look like lead however, it's just the Getter oxidising which causes this discolouration.


Regulatory Standards and Consumer Safety

Regulatory agencies such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have established strict limits on lead levels in drinking water and food contact materials. Stainless steel water bottles intended for food and beverage use must adhere to these standards to ensure consumer safety.

Despite occasional reports of lead contamination in stainless steel products, the vast majority of reputable brands prioritise quality control and compliance with regulatory standards.

In Cheeki's case our products have been tested by strict FDA standards for both raw material and also the product as a whole (this includes all soldering points and "buttons") of which contains no traces of lead or other heavy metals.

Tips for Choosing Safe Stainless Steel Water Bottles

1. Research Brands: Look for well-established brands with a reputation for quality and safety. Check for certifications and third-party testing.

2. Check Materials: Opt for bottles made from high-grade stainless steel, preferably 18/8 or 304 food grade stainless steel. Make sure it's food grade as the material has been approved to be used with food preparation.

3. Avoid Coated Bottles: Some stainless steel bottles feature colored coatings that may contain lead or other harmful substances. Stick to uncoated stainless steel for peace of mind.

4. Regular Maintenance: Proper care and maintenance of stainless steel water bottles can help prevent corrosion and minimize the risk of leaching. Clean bottles thoroughly and avoid storing acidic or carbonated beverages for extended periods.

While concerns about lead in stainless steel water bottles have surfaced in media reports, it's essential to approach the issue with a balanced perspective. High-quality stainless steel bottles manufactured by reputable brands are generally safe for everyday use, provided they meet regulatory standards and undergo rigorous quality control measures. By making informed choices and prioritising safety, consumers can enjoy the benefits of reusable water bottles while minimising potential risks.If you'd like to know more about Cheeki bottles click HERE

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