November 18, 2010, - 3:57 pm
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of the inconvenience and unhealthy results of “going green” at your local retailer. Yesterday, the handle of the paper bag from my supermarket (which won’t provide plastic bags) tore off in my hand, the bag fell, and a glass bottle of tea fell out and smashed right next to my foot. That never happened with plastic bags. The green movement continues to be the more annoying fad (other than grills–gold and jewel-studded teeth covers).
Green Makes You Sick
And now, there are other, more dangerous results from reusable bags, including high lead and harmful bacteria levels. First, there’s the discovery of a significant amount of fecal bacteria in the bags.
Those reusable grocery bags meant to replace the thin plastic ones can harbor germs and pose a risk to your health, according to a study by the University of Arizona.
The researchers tested 84 bags collected from shoppers in Tucson, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area and found that just over half were contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria. Twelve percent of the bags contained E. coli, which indicates possible fecal matter and more dangerous pathogens.
“A lot of people are not aware of the potential for the cross-contamination of food,” said Charles Gerba, a UA professor and co-author of the study.
But can a reusable grocery bag contain enough bacteria to make you sick?
“Well, it’s sort of a random chance,” he said. “Sometimes, there may be enough.”
In order to avoid those bacteria, you have to launder the bags, which means more energy use and detergent in the water. You don’t have any of that with plastic bags.
Then, there’s the high lead levels found in the bags. Wow, I’d love to eat lead-leached food, wouldn’t you? And I highly doubt these results are restricted to the Tampa area:
Grocery chain Winn-Dixie sells a reusable grocery bag with two sturdy handles, pictures of cute baby faces and enough toxic lead to alarm health experts.
The bag contains enough lead that Hillsborough County could consider the bag hazardous if thrown out with household trash, according to independent laboratory tests commissioned by The Tampa Tribune.
It’s not just Winn-Dixie.
Tribune tests also showed some Publix reusable bags had lead levels that exceed federal limits for paint and exceeded rules coming soon for children’s toys. Though the bags comply with other limits, Publix, in a cautionary move, asked its bag suppliers to lower lead content in bags. That decision came after officials were told the results of the Tribune tests.
Hmmm . . . for all the “benefits” of a “healthy” planet, apparently going green is not so “beneficial” to a healthy human who lives on that planet.
Yup, going green is hazardous to your health.
Tags: Charles Gerba, E. coli, environmentalism, fecal bacteria, going green, Green, LEAD, recycling, reusable bags, unhealthy