Non-toxic products vs. products that "lead" us on

The world wants safe products, lead and toxin-free (obviously). Trust in products may come naturally when they are popular or go viral on TikTok. The Stanley cup blew up everyone's social media, and so did its sales. In 2023, Stanley reached $750 million in revenue, but this year, the trend was flipped on its head when social media revealed that the Stanley cup poses a risk by containing lead.



Product recalls and Consumer Safety Product Commission investigations are consistent in the consumer world today. Products sold as "non-toxic" or "safe" don't always reveal the whole story, so it makes sense that people are now demanding more information.


Articles about lead in Stanley cups continue to pour in. A Forbes article says Stanley issued a statement that the cup meets safety requirements, and the only risk for lead exposure is if the bottom of the flask is damaged and comes in contact with skin. People are still enraged. On her blog Lead Safe Mama, Tamara Rubin investigated Stanley in 2023. Her Instagram post read, "Low threshold of detection is 600 ppm & 90 ppm & up is unsafe for kids."


The positive trace of lead in Stanley cups poses the question, what other products do we need to be worried about? The risk of tire rubber mulch on playgrounds has concerned parents. The CPSC and EPA have been investigating tire rubber on playgrounds for years. In 2022, Lead Safe Mama tested "Vigoro," a recycled tire rubber mulch brand sold at Home Depot. The results of her investigation showed positive for trace levels of arsenic and lead. Lead Safe Mama also tested Rainbow Mulch, tire-free, non-toxic playground mulch. The results for Rainbow Mulch showed no traces of arsenic, lead, or other concerning toxins.  


Photo Source: Lead Safe Mama,


Product safety is a priority – whether it's a drinking container or rubber playground mulch for your child. How do we navigate a market that we don't always trust? What are some ways that we can determine which products are safe?


  1. Ask a company about their sourcing and manufacturing process. Rainbow Mulch customers know their non-toxic playground mulch is manufactured in Ohio and doesn't use tire rubber. The process and ingredients are shared.  


  1. Research online. Search the company, the product, and the industry. Visit the website and follow advocates like Lead Safe Mama. Rainbow Mulch supported the posted results of its non-toxic rubber mulch because transparency is essential. 


  1. Ask for a sample. Reputable companies offer samples so you can check out the product or test it. Rainbow Mulch provides free samples of playground mulch for up to three colors. 



Product regulation is alive and well, but sometimes more information is needed to see behind the veil. Vigilant research and sharing of information allow us to make better buying decisions. Social media was the catalyst for Stanley going viral, but it might also be responsible for its downfall. When one of us catches on to being "lead" on, we ALL catch on.