(KMOV)-- There's growing concern that some of those reusable grocery bags intended to help the environment, may actually contain lead.
The popular bags are sold with the idea that using these can save landfills and the environment. But the bulk of them are also made in China, and that's why there's a worry about lead.
In fact, one supermarket chain in the area told News 4 they've already flagged one of their bags. Schnuck's the area's largest chain, told News 4 they have identified one style of bag that has tested for an elevated, but still safe they insist, level of lead. That bag is no longer being sold.
Dierberg's said they've been assured by their bag supplier in California that their bags are far below safe standards for lead.
In an email Trader Joes insisted their bags are frequently tested to be lead free. Whole Foods said they're still conducting tests on their bags.
So just how dangerous can this be? Professor Roger Lewis at St. Louis University studies lead, and said there is a risk of getting lead poisoning which can include symptoms of nausea, headaches and cramps.
"I think if the lead on the bags is in a condition where it can come off and then get on to your hands and then into your food it is a concern," Professor Lewis said.
A spokespersons fo Shop 'n Save said that "no problems have been identified with the reusable bags sold in SHOP ‘N SAVE stores. We have verified with our primary bag supplier, Earthwise, that our bags have passed independent testing for lead content. Additionally, we are closely monitoring this issue and are actively communicating with each of our vendor partners to ensure the safety of our bags going forward."
So shoppers it seems, need to be careful and toss out old bags beore heading to the market.