A CT scan of Stanley’s viral Quencher cup has confirmed what the corporate has been saying all alongside: There’s only lead at the bottom of the cup. The lead is roofed by a stainless-steel cowl, which Stanley says makes it “inaccessible to prospects.” Ultimately, although, lead publicity would possibly come all the way down to a matter of luck.

The staff at Lumafield, a {hardware} manufacturing firm that makes CT scanners, ran Stanley’s Quencher tumbler through one of their machines final week. Whereas movies of optimistic outcomes from at-home lead checks (which expert warn can be unreliable) have led to limitless hypothesis over what components of the cups have lead, Lumafield’s CT scan confirmed that there was solely lead on the backside of the Stanley Quencher.

The lead recognized by Lumafield, which is distinguished by the darkish pink circle on the CT scan, is the lead pellet utilized by Stanley to solder its cups. Stanley’s tumbler cups function an internal and outer wall made from chrome steel that’s welded collectively on the rim. Between these partitions is a vacuum of insulation, which is what minimizes warmth switch and helps preserve your beverage heat or chilly.

Stanley says it uses a lead pellet to seal the vacuum insulation on the backside of the cup. The corporate then covers the lead pellet with a stainless-steel disk, the identical materials used for the remainder of the tumbler.

A breakdown of the lead at the bottom of the Stanley Quencher.

So, what does this CT scan inform us? First, it implies that Stanley wasn’t mendacity: There was solely lead on the backside of the examined cup. However that doesn’t imply that folks with Stanley cups are fully protected from lead publicity, which might trigger critical well being issues for youngsters and adults.

“[O]ur CT cross-section reveals that the lead is totally shielded, and its person gained’t be uncovered to guide in any respect. If the medallion protecting the lead solder is pried off, it would turn into accessible—however in that case, a substitute cup is roofed by Stanley’s guarantee,” Jon Bruner, Lumafield’s head of selling, said in a post on X.

The key phrase right here is the medallion, or the chrome steel disc protecting the lead. In different phrases, whereas the CT scan clearly confirmed us the place the lead in Stanley’s cups is, it additionally confirmed us that the one factor defending folks from publicity is a small metallic disc that may theoretically fall off or turn into unsealed.

A close-up of the CT scan of the bottom of Stanley's Quencher.

Lead security activist Tamara Rubin told Gizmodo in February that she’s acquired lots of of experiences of individuals stating that their base cap has fallen off after regular use.

“Within the final couple of days alone, I’ve had one thing like 300 folks contact me and inform me that that disc on the underside of their Stanley’s fell off inside every week or a month of regular use,” Rubin mentioned, including that if folks contact the lead pellet inside their cups after which contact meals, they may expose themselves to guide.

Stanley, for its half, states that the chrome steel cowl coming off is “a rare occurrence.”

Whereas consultants say there is no risk to using Stanley cups which can be in excellent situation, do you actually need to take the danger? There are many different cups, akin to Stanley’s lead competitor Hydro Flask, on the market that don’t include lead. (To be truthful, Hydro Flask used lead in its cups till it invested in going lead-free.)

“As shoppers turn into extra discerning in regards to the merchandise they purchase, the strain on corporations to not compromise on security or sustainability will solely improve,” Lumafield wrote in a post about its experiment.

A version of this article originally appeared on Gizmodo.


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