As more and more US cities make the green move of banning disposable plastic grocery bags, a report has surfaced in a Florida newspaper that some of the reusable grocery bags sold at grocery stores may contain lead.
A story published in the Tampa Tribune reports that lead was found in the reusable grocery bags purchased from a number of stores including Winn-Dixie, Walmart, Target, Publix, and Sweetbay. Lead is a toxin that is believed to cause learning disabilities in children as well as fertility problems in adults.
Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY, is calling for a federal investigation into the issue. In a letter Schumer wrote to the Food and Drug Administration, he said: "Any situation where lead bags are coming into contact with the food being purchased by Americans needs to be immediately investigated and resolved." A large number of the reuasble bags being sold at supermarkets are reportedly manufactured in China.
Schumer does say that Winn Dixie and Publix Supermarkets have already requested the suppliers they get the bags from to use less lead in them. The senator also commended Wegman's Food Market, a 77-store chain, for a September 20th announcement that the store was discontinuing two reusable bag designs because testing indicated elevated levels of lead in the bags.