Reusable Bags May Hurt Planet, Too

Studies find sacks have risky levels of lead
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 15, 2010 7:05 AM CST
Austin Richardson, right, bags groceries in Lucky Stores new reusable plastic bags as Carol Huang, left, prepares to pay cashier Antonio Sy, center, on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2007 in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Kim Komenich)
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(Newser) – Now that you’ve made the transition from plastic bags to reusable ones, it turns out they, too, may be an environmental threat, reports the New York Times. Studies show some such bags contain may contain unsafe amounts of lead, which could eventually seep into groundwater if they're disposed of. The bags’ paint could also flake off and potentially affect food. The Times does note that the bags in question, which have been identified at some CVS pharmacies and Wegman's grocery stores, do not pose an immediate threat.

“It’s still not good enough. Are we going to have to start using string?” asked a shopper. New York Sen. Charles Schumer has called for an FDA investigation into the matter. “There’s always something wrong with everything,” said another reusable-bag user who is also an alternative energy expert. But he noted that the bags are still “a step in the right direction.”

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