Stanley cup maker faces lawsuit over presence of lead in tumblers

The parent company behind the viral Stanley tumblers is facing litigation over allegedly misleading consumers over the presence of lead.

According to the suit, filed on Feb. 1, the Seattle-based Stanley parent Pacific Market International did not publicly confirm the presence of lead in its tumblers until January 2024.

"This case arises from PMI Pacific Market International, LLC ('PMI)’s admission in January 2024 that its popular Stanley cups contain lead. PMI had previously failed to disclose that information – presumably because doing so would have hurt PMI’s bottom line," reads part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of four women in California who are suing the company.  

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The lawsuit is seeking punitive damages and a "permanent injunction requiring PMI to disclose any lead or other toxins in its products in California."

Is there actually lead in Stanley tumblers?

Simply put, yes. 

Lead is used in the manufacturing process.

Each container has a piece at the bottom containing a circular stainless steel barrier. This covers a pellet that contains lead. It's the pellet that seals the product's vacuum insulation. 

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Customers cannot access the pellet unless the stainless steel barrier comes off, which Stanley says is possible but rare.

In the statement released in January, PMI assured consumers the risk of lead exposure for a customer is minimal at best. 

On its website, Stanley tells its customers, "Rest assured that no lead is present on the surface of any Stanley product that comes into contact with the consumer nor the contents of the product."

"Stanley assures that its products meet all U.S. regulatory requirements, including Prop65." 

Is lead exposure dangerous?

Lead poisoning is caused by exposure to high levels of lead. Children under the age of 6 are most at risk for health problems caused by lead exposure because their bodies are still developing, and they are growing so rapidly, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In order for your Stanley Tumbler to actually cause you lead exposure it would need to be seriously damaged or used in a way that is not intended. 

Exposure to extreme heat can also expose the lead, the company said. 

If you own a Stanley Quencher and the button on the bottom falls off, stop using it immediately and contact the company for a replacement. 

Do other beverage tumblers contain lead?

In its statement, Stanley noted how its manufacturing process currently uses the "industry standard" pellet to seal the vacuum insulation at the base of its products, and that the sealing material includes some lead." 

Rubin with Lead Safe Mama has tested several bottles made by other companies with a similar makeup and claims to have found other unsafe levels of lead used as a sealing dot in the bottoms of some insulated stainless steel and aluminum water bottles. 

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission monitors products for potential safety violations with lead levels. The agency has announced recalls for several items that were found to exceed the federal lead content ban, including a stainless steel toddler cup made by PandaEar, a Cupkin double-walled stainless steel children’s cup, LAOION children’s cups, and Tiblue 8-ounce and 12-ounce children’s cups.

Consumers can report any lead-related concerns they have about a product to the CPSC at SaferProducts.Gov.

Kelly Hayes and FOX Business contributed to this story. It was Reported from Los Angeles.