Tupperware: Respond to LeadSafeMama's findings of Lead + Arsenic in your vintage products.
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I - Tamara Rubin (aka #LeadSafeMama) - tested vintage Tupperware products in March of 2019 and found many examples (in different colors, styles and products) were positive for unsafe levels of LEAD (Pb), MERCURY (Hg), CADMIUM (Cd) and ARSENIC (As) (by modern standards) when tested with an XRF instrument in Consumer Goods mode. The XRF instrument is the same instrument used by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to screen for toxicants in modern consumer goods intended for use by children.
Today government agencies (EPA, CDC, FDA, CPSC, etc.) agree that there is no level of Lead exposure that is safe for children. It just takes a microscopic amount of Lead to poison a child. Lead exposure can cause long term health impairments (including permanent brain damage) in children. [My 14 year old son has permanent brain damage as a result of being acutely Lead poisoned as a baby.] Cadmium is a known carcinogen and is also toxic at very low levels. Mercury and Arsenic each are also considered poisonous to humans (even at trace levels.)
The presence of these heavy metal toxicants in vintage plastic kitchenware (from any brand or company) is a problem because these toxicants have been demonstrated (through multiple scientific studies) to leach from vintage plastics.
The fact that the vintage Tupperware products in question are food-use products (many marketed by Tupperware as expressly intended for microwave use / use with hot foods - or intended for food storage), makes these findings especially concerning as toxicants are more likely to leach from plastics in the presence of acids (like lemon juice, tomato sauce and vinegar) and even more likely to leach with prolonged exposure (food storage) and heat (microwaving). [Link to scientific study here.] [Link to a second study here.]
This whole issue is even more concerning given Tupperware's brand is based on an articulated mission and reputation of trust and a goal of inspiring women: "To inspire women to cultivate the confidence they need to enrich their lives, nourish their families, and fuel communities around the world."
Their products are also known to last forever and, as such, have a lifetime warranty: "Tupperware products are legendary for their longevity, but things do happen, so we’re proud to back up our already durable products with an extensive warranty." So the Tupperware company is AWARE that 30-, 40- and 50-year-old products (many of which are now known to be full of toxicants as a result of my research) are in regular daily use in the homes of their longtime customers and consultants.
Mothers are handing these down to their children.
Grandmothers are handing them down to their grandchildren.
They last forever, with the intention of being used for generations.
People expect more from the Tupperware brand, yet so far it's been near "radio-silence" from them on this issue that potentially impacts the health and well being of every family that has been "nourished" using their products in decades past.
So far the only response that has been received from Tupperware corporate on this matter is this one from March 27, 2019: link here. In this response they state: "Please be advised we are aware of this..."
To my knowledge, there have been no other official or formal written responses from Tupperware, although some of my readers (over 1,200,000 unique readers this year alone - with nearly 1,000,000 coming to my blog specifically to read about the toxicants found in vintage Tupperware) have reported to me that, when asked, Tupperware has refused to replace these toxic products under their warranty program - as toxic products are not one of their stated reasons to warrant a return. Generally only broken, chipped or warped products warrant a free replacement.
Today (Thursday, 7/11/2019) one of my readers asked me what we would expect Tupperware to do about this problem, given many of these toxic products are 30 or 40 years old. Here's a list of possible proactive responses Tupperware could have had (and still could have if they choose to respond positively to this petition) in the interest of protecting their brand and their customers:
- Issue an honest public statement (and letter of apology to their customers) about the concern for toxicants found in their vintage products (advising customers to only use Tupperware products made after 2010, when they formally removed BPA from their products and also no longer used heavy metals as a component of their plastics colorants.)
- Develop and implement a replacement program, extending their warranty coverage to include products identified to have heavy metals and other toxicants (including BPA). [Perhaps offering free disposal for vintage products and a credit towards a purchase of their new safer products?]
- Engage a third party to do independent leach testing on vintage products that have been confirmed to have heavy metals using XRF technology - as a means of quantifying the potential human risk and determining next steps. [If Tupperware's assertion is that these products are safe (from the perspective of their potential to leach toxicants), please demonstrate it.]
What we are asking for in response to this petition: an honest, thoughtful, considerate response from Tupperware that takes into account the potential longterm harm that may have been caused by these vintage products and that offers a remedy (such as free product replacement) to long-time customers.
Thank you for reading and for signing this petition.
Please do share it with everyone you know. Perhaps once they see the numbers of people (ACROSS THE GLOBE) who care about this concern, they will do something proactive in this matter (other than possibly try to sue me for defamation(!)... which has been tried by other companies before, and I have no concern about - as my test results are science-based and replicable.)
Mother of Lead Poisoned Children.
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