ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Wegmans Food Markets here notified its shoppers that it would stop selling reusable shopping bags found to have elevated levels of lead. Wegman’s posted the notice on its website after a consumer advocacy group, Empire State Consumer Project, had the bags tested for toxicity.
Two bags, green pea and 2009 holiday, sold by Wegmans were found to contain lead at 799 parts per million, according to a report by Bloomberg News. New York State law limits lead to as high as 100 parts per million. The bags were made in China and retailed for $1.29.
In a press statement, Wegmans said no other designs of Wegmans reusable bags are affected.
"Customers can continue to safely use both of these designs. This is not a food safety or children's health concern," said Jo Natale, a spokewoman for Wegmans. "The eventual disposal of the bags is the only issue, from an environmental perspective."
Signs have been posted in Wegmans' 76 stores and on their website to let customers know that the bags are safe to use, but should be returned to Wegmans prior to disposal — when they are no longer of use. At that time, Wegmans will replace the bag with another design and will properly dispose of the returned bag.