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Stanley Admits Its TikTok-Famous Mugs Are Made With Lead After All

Duck, Duck

It's been quite the year for Stanely, the 110-year-old tumbler brand that's been milkshake ducked after its Quencher bottle went uber-viral, sold out many times over, and subsequently became the focus of health concerns.

In the latest case of TikTok fame giveth and taketh-ing away, the same social platform that increased Stanley's profits ten times over between 2019 and 2023 played host to burgeoning concerns about whether these colorful flagons may contain lead when a video from March of last year began to recirculate online.

In the post, a user known as "Lead Safe Mama" claimed that she detected lead when checking for the toxic metal on the bottom of a Stanley Quencher, using a reactive agent that changes color when coming into contact with the heavy metal.

Indeed, as the video shows, the LeadCheck swab did turn pink after the user swiped it across the mug's exposed posterior, indicating that lead was present.

Leading On

Unsurprisingly, people began to freak out at the thought that their cherished status symbol beverage holders might give them something more than clout, forcing Stanely to respond.

In statements made to local news, USA Today, and the Today show, Stanley representatives said that lead is indeed used in the company's manufacturing processes and trace amounts can be found in its products, but that it will not touch any beverage put inside the cups because it's enclosed within their interiors, which are protected by the company's customary stainless steel exteriors. That does seem to track with Lead Safe Mama's video, which shows the mug's inner layers being exposed to, well, the elements.

In a statement to a local NBC affiliate in Charlotte, North Carolina, Stanley insisted its products comply with all US and state regulations, and added in its comments to Today that the company is "making progress on innovative, alternative materials for use in the sealing process."

In short: yes, there is lead in Stanley tumblers, but unless you open it up, the amount is not enough to hurt you — which is also true for lots of other consumer products.

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