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The Publix supermarket chain is looking into how to reduce lead levels in its reusable grocery bags.
The Tampa Tribune tested more than a dozen bags from major Florida grocers. The newspaper found certain bags sold in Winn-Dixie and Publix stores had elevated lead levels that concerned health officials.
Experts say the lead in the bags does not appear to be in a form that would easily rub off on food when the bags are new. But lab experts note that over time the bags wear down and paint can flake off, and eventually reusable bags would accumulate in landfills and present an ecological issue.
Both southern chains say their bags comply with current federal laws regarding lead content. Winn-Dixie says it will work with suppliers to address concerns about bag disposal.
Information from: The Tampa Tribune, http://www.tampatrib.com