Some Reusable Shopping Bags Have Too Much Lead

November 15, 2010 Updated Nov 15, 2010 at 6:46 PM EDT

By WKBW Programming

November 15, 2010 Updated Nov 15, 2010 at 6:46 PM EDT

(WKBW/ABC) They are suppose to be a greener solution, but now a new report says some of those reusable grocery bags may not only harm the environment, but also your health.

Senator Chuck Schumer is now calling for a ban and a full federal investigation into some reusable bags, following a series by Florida's Tampa Tribune.

The newspaper found unacceptable levels of lead in bags bought at Winn-Dixie, Publix, Sweetbay, Walmart and Target.

The concern is that over time, lead in bags could cause environmental problems in landfills or leach into food products that are kept in them.

In September, Wegmans announced it would stop selling two designs because of elevated lead levels, but the supermarket chain says customers can continue to safely use both of those designs.
It says the only issue is the eventual disposal of the bags.

Schumer says the health risk from bags with high lead levels is not immediate, as long as the affected bags are eventually removed from use.

Some experts say the E. coli risk from using the bags to carry meats is greater than the lead concern, and remind people to regularly wash the bags.

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