Independent testing conducted by HealthyStuff.org confirmed the presence of lead in the nut on the underside of the blades on popular babyfood-making product The Baby Bullet. Testing was prompted by personal reports from a midwestern mom, Kristin, who conducted home testing on the product after her child was diagnosed with severe lead poisoning. Kristin has stated several times that she does not believe her child’s poisoning was caused by the presence of lead in the Baby Bullet, but that it may have been a contributing factor to his extraordinarily high lead levels.
Kristin tested the product herself using a ProLab testing kid from her local The Home Depot, with a lead fishing sinker as a control. Both the sinker and the Baby Bullet indicated presence of lead. Kristin contacted Baby Bullet customer service and was told to send an email, which she did on January 21, January 29, and January 30, 2013, with no response from Baby Bullet. She then attempted to contact them through Facebook. In her emails, Kristin described clearly which parts of the Baby Bullet showed presence of lead in her home testing and included a photo:
The center nut on my unit tested positive for lead using a ProLab lead test kit at home, as did a section between the blades themselves and green plastic on the other side.
Because I am still not certain what this part is made of and for the fear that lead could leach into food made with the Baby Bullet, I wanted Baby Bullet to ascertain exactly what this part contains.
In her emails, Kristin also indicated that Baby Bullet had deleted her posts on their Facebook page and had incorrectly stated that they had not received any reports of lead, specifying that she had contacted them via email, phone, and Facebook. She further informed them that she had contacted the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
On January 31, CPSC referred Kristin to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA].
On January 31, 2013, Baby Bullet issued a statement on their public Facebook page asserting that the Baby Bullet is lead free. Below is a screenshot of their statement.
This post was met with a mix of support from pro-Baby Bullet moms and outrage from other moms with concerns about the presence of lead in products used to prepare baby food. I expressed my own concern at this statement:
The statement from Baby Bullet had garnered 268 posts as of this writing. Baby Bullet has hidden it from view on their Facebook page, but it is still accessible through the direct link to the post. I and many other mothers have also saved screenshots of the post and the ensuing string of comments. Since this post, Baby Bullet has not made any other official statements on their Facebook page. Concerned moms continue to write comments on unrelated posts, however.
Following her public concern, Kristin received an offer from HealthyStuff.org to test the components in question for the presence of lead. They did so, and Kristin has received results that clearly indicate the presence of lead. I have personally seen them and find them very disconcerting, substantially higher than the federal limit of 600 PPM, but will not share the numbers until she gives me a green light to do so. HealthyStuff.org clearly outlines their testing methodology on their website.
Kristin has said both in communication directly with Baby Bullet and on their Facebook wall that she does not blame Baby Bullet for her son’s severe lead poisoning. Nonetheless, she has concerns –which I certainly share — about manufacturing a product for feeding babies using lead components. She has received responses from Baby Bullet, but they have been unsatisfactory and include reiterations that the product is lead free and later that any lead present would be within legal limits. I await permission to share the full text of this correspondence.
It’s not clear yet what will happen next in this situation. Anecdotal reports from other parents on Facebook indicate that others have also found indications of lead in components of their own Baby Bullets through home testing. I know that this is enough for me to be glad I don’t have a Baby Bullet. If I did, I would stop using it immediately and seek to return it if at all possible. Even low exposure to lead can cause serious long-term consequences.
Information about lead poisoning and lead exposure:
- Lead Exposure In Children Affects Brain And Behavior, from American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- About Lead Poisoning, from KidsHealth.org
- CDC Infographic on Lead Exposure
- CDC Infographic on Lead Poisoning
- Info on Lead from OSHA
- Info on Lead from CDC