Ohelo | Products
Did you know that most insulated bottles still contain LEAD!
Do you know about the hidden nasties lurking inside most reusable water bottles? Our headline tells you the alarming truth, that lead is still found in almost all insulated bottles on the market. Read on for why that is so shocking, where the lead is found, and why we are proud to be one of the only lead free bottle brands on the planet!
Lead based solder is still used in almost all insulated water bottles on the market. Solder is the material used to seal in the vacuum layer into your steel water bottles. It is found at the base of every insulated stainless steel water bottle. During the vacuumisation process this material melts to seal in the vacuum layer to the insulated bottle.
The current industry standard for insulated water bottles is a lead based solder. It is the cheap, easy option to use – but that comes at a cost!
Why is this bad?
Lead is toxic to people and the environment. Due to the toxicity of lead, the EU has banned such lead solder for both personal use and for use in electronics. Yet sadly water bottles have escaped such legislation. This means the people making your reusable water bottle are being exposed to this lead each and every day as they handle the small balls of lead solder during the manufacturing process.
To avoid customers being exposed to this lead when they use their water bottles, they will normally have this sealing dot covered somehow. This can be done with a shaped cap covering the base (look out for a horizontal weld line close to the base of a bottle), a metal or silicone cover disc attached to the vessel bottom, or even with a paint finish. However, during the vacuumisation process, trace amounts of lead from the solder can end up on the surfaces of the products themselves – which is why you should always wash these bottles thoroughly before using them for the 1st time.
If any of the weld/seams on the inner part of the bottle were to be faulty/open up then the liquid inside would come in contact with this lead solder - in that instance those bottles should not be used.
The user may also be exposed to this material if the way in which the lead solder has been covered becomes compromised – that can be a fake base becoming loose or with other brands it may simply be some paint scratching off the bottom to expose the solder point.
Furthermore, at end-of-life you can get lead leaching into the environment from these products, leading to further lead pollution.
The lead leaching and the toxicity to makers are both considerations that were used when this material was banned in electronics – most consumers don’t touch the inner parts of their electronics where this material is, but lead solder was banned in electronics due to the health and environmental effects.
There are very few companies producing insulated bottles or travel mugs using a solder that is lead free. Why is that?
Lead-free solder is available as an option, it costs significantly more to use it, meaning the unit cost of each bottle is significantly higher. Why does it cost more to use lead-free solder?
· The solder itself is more expensive – over 3 times the cost of the standard lead solder
· It needs dedicated specialist ovens to create the vacuum. This is because if you use an oven which has been used for products that use standard solder (contain lead), even if the solder you are using is lead-free, lead will be present in the oven and so on the product. Even cleaning the oven cannot avoid this cross contamination.
· It requires a longer period spent in the vacuum oven, which adds to manufacturing time and thus cost.
We think being a reusable alternative to single use plastic is not enough to be truly sustainable. What materials you are using matters too.
It’s a no-brainer to us – being lead free not only protects our customers but protects our makers and their environment too.
Say no to single use plastic by choosing reusables that are free from hidden nasties. Get your hands on a lead free reusable water bottle or travel mug today and join us in making the world a better place.