Bindle, a popular brand of water bottles on Instagram, has recalled its insulated bottles after consumer reports posed a risk of lead poisoning.
Bindle issued a voluntary recall of its dual-compartment water bottles, acknowledging that the dry storage container on the bottom has a dot of finishing solder that may contain excess lead.
“If unpackaged food is placed in a dry storage compartment, it potentially poses a risk of lead exposure,” the company said.
All bindings are influenced by bottle size and color. Bindle is asking consumers to immediately stop using the bottles’ dry storage compartment and register to receive a free repair kit.
In product testing, Consumer Reports found that the Bindle bottle could expose users to “extremely high” levels of lead. The advocacy group also says some bottles contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause fertility problems and some types of cancer. Bindle markets the product as BPA-free.
Bindle calls its water jug a “sip and stash” bottle, with a top compartment for a liquid and a bottom compartment perfect for storing snacks, keys or other personal items.
Consumer Reports said it found lead in the bottle’s “ceiling dot,” a small, round piece of metal at the base of the bottle in the bottom storage compartment of the bottle. The part is about 10% lead and contains lead levels that are about 1,100 times higher than what is generally considered safe, according to the publication, noting that anything that comes into contact with the point is at risk of lead contamination.
Consumer Reports urges the public to stop using Bindle products immediately It asked the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate.
Following the report, Bindle issued a consumer safety alert acknowledging a “potential lead problem” in its products.
“Recent testing has shown that these soldering dots contain lead,” the company said in a statement on its website. “While we believe that the small area of lead poses a negligible risk to the health and safety of users, we are taking this very seriously and are taking steps to address this issue as soon as possible.”
The company claims it is able to retrofit existing products to eliminate the risk of lead exposure. Bindle is offering full refunds on all products to customers who request them.
Still, Bindle maintains that the liquid compartment in each bottle is “completely safe to use and drink.”
“The health and wellness of our customers continues to be our highest priority,” Bindle co-founder Houston Max said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch. He added that the company is “in the process of figuring out a solution that will help address any lingering concerns.”
Child health advocate and activist Tamara Rubin, who runs a blog on consumer product safety called “Lead Safe Mama,” first alerted Consumer Reports to the potential health risks. In January, he urged consumers to stop using Bindel bottles immediately after he claimed “significant lead contamination” was found in the product’s bottom storage chamber.
At the time, he posted a letter to the company urging its owners to warn consumers about the possible presence of lead in the bottles and to stop selling them.
Bindle, which was founded in 2017 and raised more than $40,000 in a Kickstarter campaign, got a big boost the following year when its products were featured on Oprah’s “favorite things” list.