The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The Stanley Cup Lead Controversy

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

To go a day on Moravian’s campus and not see a Stanley cup is nearly impossible, yet the viral drinkware brand has been the cause of controversy online. 

Rumors recently began that Stanley uses lead in their bottles after videos surfaced of consumers using at-home lead tests on their Stanley bottles and turning up with positive results. Trust in the company has wavered since the company released a statement acknowledging that they do, in fact, use lead in the manufacturing of its drinkware. 

So, should students be concerned about lead exposure? 

Maybe. While Stanley does use lead in the insulation process of manufacturing, consumers are very rarely actually exposed to lead. 

Stanley states that it uses a vacuum insulation process that consists of placing a small lead pellet inside the drinkware. The pellet seals the insulation of the bottles. The pellet is then covered by a circular stainless steel seal that protects the insulation and prevents exposure to the lead pellet. 

According to Stanley, the process is an “industry standard” and one used by other drinkware brands. 

Many videos online that show positive lead results do not disclose what brand of at-home lead test kits they are using. Research has shown that the accuracy of these at-home tests is unknown, meaning that these videos could be showing false-positive results. 

Some experts have used lab equipment to test for lead in Stanley cups and have received negative results. Jack Caravanos, a professor of public health at New York University said the lead pellet is deep inside the unit so that it would “be very tough to be exposed to it or ingest it,” according to a BBC news story.  

In rare cases, the stainless steel seal on the bottom of a Stanley cup can break, in which case the user would be exposed to the lead pellet. However, Stanley says that it is rare for normal wear and tear to break the seal. They do have a lifetime warranty, and if the seal breaks, a consumer would be able to submit a warranty claim

Despite the low risk of lead exposure, experts still frown upon the use of lead in drinkware. They believe that any risk of exposure to lead is not worth it. When speaking to the BBC, Caravanos said he, “took issue with the fact that companies still use lead to manufacture their products at all.”

If the seal of a Stanley becomes defective, the person who uses it should monitor for symptoms of lead exposure, which consist of but are not limited to headaches, joint/muscle pain, stomach pain, mood swings, irritability, fatigue, etc. 

Students are at a low risk of their Stanley bottles exposing them to lead but should monitor the bottom of their cups to guarantee the seal remains intact.

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