An image of someone supposedly testing a Stanley Cup and other tumblers for Lead.

Stanley Cup Lead Poisoning Controversy

Part of a series on Stanley Cup Trend / Tumbler Craze. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jan 29, 2024 at 03:26PM EST by Zach.

Added Jan 29, 2024 at 10:35AM EST by Aidan Walker.

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Overview

The Stanley Cup Lead Poisoning Controversy or Stanley Tumbler Lead Contamination Allegations refers to the supposed contamination of the popular Stanley cup with lead metal, a known neurotoxin. Users on social media began posting about possible lead contamination in their cups in early 2023, seeing a rise in discourse amid the product's trend in early 2024. Stanley 1913 confirmed in late January 2024 that lead is used in the manufacturing process for the cups and that if the bottoms of the cups are damaged or broken, exposure to the material may be possible, but such instances are rare.

Background

In March 2023, lead contamination activist Tamara Rubin made a blog post accusing Stanley's cups and tumblers of containing dangerous levels of lead.[1] Rubin argued that the bottom "button" on the Stanley cup contained amounts of lead that would be detectable through testing, saying "the Leaded component does not come into contact with the contents of the vessel but the user may be exposed to Lead with normal hand-to-mouth activity if the bottom cap / button has fallen off."

According to Rubin, many Stanley cup users report the bottom button falling off their cups if they are damaged (graphic where this part of the bottle is located shown below).


LEAD SAFE MAMA BPA IGNED IN SEATTLE WA, ETHICALLY MANUFACTURED IN C STANLEY A BRAND OF PMI The Lead in the Stanley products is under this button. The button can fall off and become a Lead-exposure hazard for the user. SAFE 1.18L MICROWAVE USING Have questions? Please read the full article on LeadSafeMama.com The amount of Lead in these Stanley "cups" would be illegal if they were manufactured for use by children. H HOT DRIN LEAD SAFE MAMA

Rubin posted a TikTok describing her lead testing of a Stanley cup on March 24th, 2023, earning over 500 likes and over 54,000 views in nine months (seen below, left).[4]

Throughout August 2023, others posted TikTok videos of themselves using lead-testing kits ordered online to swab the interior and exterior of their Stanley tumblers, such as user @perlavi_ (seen below, right) on August 10th, 2023, who earned over 2,200 likes and 167,000 views for posting a negative lead test conducted on the inside of her cup.[5]

https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7214237297422781739
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7265815654417059115

A TikTok depicting a mother testing a Stanley cup for lead (since deleted), earned over 2.2 million views in a day on August 12th, 2023, inspiring coverage from The Daily Dot.[3] Other TikToks showing users testing their Stanley products for lead were posted throughout the fall.

2024 Resurgence

On January 23rd, 2024, Facebook influencer Casey Janette Russell posted about her Stanley cups, claiming that she'd tested them for lead and each one had shown up positive, earning over 19,000 shares in the course of five days (seen below, left).[6] On January 24th, Facebook influencer Stephanie Flannery also posted a series of photos about the Stanley cup controversy, earning over 5,900 shares in four days.[7]


Casey Janette Russell January 23 at 5:36 PM. : I saw another post on social media talking about Stanley's having lead. So, I ordered some test swabs on Amazon and this was my results. I rubbed it on the inside of the cup where the drink is. I tested a Yeti, Rtic and Stanley. The Yeti and Rtic remained yellow resulting in a negative for lead. The Stanley did not. Every single Stanley I own showed positive for lead. I just wanted to share because I know a lot of us have them. ND STANLEY Stephanie Flannery 4d I saw another post on social media talking about Stanley's having lead. So, I ordered some test swabs on Amazon and this was my results. ●●● I rubbed it on the inside of the cup where the drink is. I tested a Yeti, Rtic and Stanley. The Yeti and Rtic remained yellow resulting in a negative for lead. The Stanley did not. Every single Stanley I own showed positive for lead. I just wanted to share because I know a lot of us have them. SE STANLEY 255 642 comments 5.9K shares

Flannery's post was then screenshot and reposted to X by user @LeaMaric on January 28th, where it earned over 87,000 likes in less than a day (shown below).[8] Other accounts reposted the same screenshot, including user @KaylaAncrum on January 29th, who posted that "people should go to prison" over the lead in Stanley cups, earning over 23,000 likes in less than a day.[9]


еуспеш @LeaMaric The Leadening has begun and the Stanley girlies are not okay. Stephanie Flannery. Follow 3h. I saw another post on social media talking about Stanley's having lead. So, I ordered some test swabs on Amazon and this was my results. I rubbed it on the inside of the cup where the drink is. I tested a Yeti, Rtic and Stanley. The Yeti and Rtic remained yellow resulting in a negative for lead. The Stanley did not. Every single Stanley I own showed positive for lead. I just wanted to share because I know a lot of us have them. :

Developments

Stanley Confirms Lead Content

In late January 2024, amid increasing posts about Stanley cups containing lead, a number of journalistic outlets reported on the lead discussions. A representative for Stanley told TODAY.com that the cups do contain a pellet of lead used to seal the cup's steel bottom, but that this material would only be exposed if the cup were damaged.[2]



Online Reactions

On TikTok, many posted videos of themselves testing Stanley cups using Amazon-ordered lead-testing swabs in late 2023 and early 2024. Often, these videos involved telling a story or speaking about some other topic to the camera, such as the one by TikToker @dimelifting (seen below, left) posted on August 29th, 2023, which received over 12,600 likes and 321,000 views in five months.[10]

Most of the videos of Stanley cup lead testing appeared to feature women, but TikToker @kellybaker43, a male poster, compared the lead content of a Stanley cup to the lead content of a bullet in a post that earned over 3,500 likes and 411,000 views on January 27th, 2024.[11]

https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7272904240736029995
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7328164643237596458

Stanley Cup Trend

Stanley Quencher Tumbler, also known simply as the Stanley Cup, refers to a type of stainless steel tumbler from the brand Stanley that became a trend or "craze" online in late 2023 and early 2024. Known for keeping beverages hot and cold depending on the drink it holds for a long time, the "Quencher Tumbler" product was first launched in 2016 but saw a significant rise in virality in early January 2024 after a limited-edition Stanley stainless steel tumbler caused lines and chaos in Target stores across the U.S. The item is also frequently mentioned in memes and jokes for its cult-like fandom on social media, similar to Hydro Flask products in years prior.


STANLEY SINCE 1913

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Top Comments

Sir Snakeboat
Sir Snakeboat

"A representative for Stanley told TODAY.com that the cups do contain a pellet of lead used to seal the cup's steel bottom, but that this material would only be exposed if the cup were damaged."

but WHY do they contain lead you dumb fucks

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