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Lawsuits & Litigation

Proposed Class-Action Claims Stanley Tumblers Contain Unsafe Levels of Lead

— February 22, 2024

Attorneys for the proposed class say that Stanley and its parent company continue to “conceal the known risks and failed to warn of known or scientifically knowable dangers and risks associated with ingesting lead.”

A proposed class-action lawsuit claims that Pacific Market International, the parent company of Stanley, misled consumers by failing to disclose that its popular tumblers contain potentially unsafe concentrations of lead.

According to NBC News, the complaint was filed earlier this month by a Seattle-based law firm. In it, attorneys say that Pacific Market International only admitted that its tumblers were lead-contaminated in January.

“As the manufacturer and designer of these products, the Stanley Defendants knew, or reasonably should have known, about this lead issue for years but chose to conceal it from the public presumably to avoid losing sales,” the lawsuit alleges.

Time notes that, this past January, TikTok influencers began testing the surfaces of Stanley tumblers using at-home kits—with the results indicating noticeable levels of lead.

In a statement, the company said that the stainless-steel vacuum seal insulation in the bottoms of its Stanley-brand tumblers covers a pellet that contains lead, some of which is melted during the manufacturing process.

“Every Stanley product meets all U.S. regulatory requirements, including California Proposition 65, which requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about heavy metal and chemical exposure,” Stanley wrote in a statement published to its website.

A gavel. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr/user: Brian Turner. (CCA-BY-2.0).

“At Stanley, one of the key features of our products is our vacuum insulation technology, which provides consumers with drinkware that keeps beverages at the ideal temperature. Our manufacturing process currently employs the use of an industry standard pellet to seal the vacuum insulation at the base of our products; the sealing material includes some lead. Once sealed, this area is covered with a durable stainless steel layer, making it inaccessible to consumers,” Stanley said.

Both Pacific Market International and Stanley stress that consumers face minimal risks of exposure, and are unlikely to suffer any lead-related health complications.

“Rest assured that no lead on the surface of any Stanley product that comes into contact with consumers nor the contents of the product,” PMI said.

But attorneys maintain that, if a Stanley tumbler is damaged or broken down, its seal can break.

Stanley, the lawsuit alleges, continues to “conceal the known risks and failed to warn of known or scientifically knowable dangers and risks associated with ingesting lead.”

The class action states that an average consumer purchasing a Stanley tumbler would have no reason to think that a popular and heavily-marketed cup would have lead in it. Absent any warning from the manufacturer, the only way to assess the product’s alleged defects would be to either purchase a take-home test kit, or to independently seek out and review the results of third-party tests.


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