EINNEWS, November 15—Those eco-friendly reusable shopping bags you carry with you to the grocery store may be more dangerous than the old plastic and paper ones.

A New York state consumer group has found high levels of lead in bags sold by Wegmans, an East Cost grocery chain. The bags are made in China of non woven polypropylene or are decorated with lead-laden paint.

“China has no regard for American safety,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters yesterday. He called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to investigate reusable bag manufacturers and ban bags with unacceptable levels of lead.

Reusable shopping bags are becoming popular with shoppers as a way to protect the environment. Washington, DC last year imposed a 5-cent tax on every plastic or paper bag used by food and beverage stories in an effort to cut down pollution in its nearby river systems. The plan has proven extraordinarily successful, cutting paper and plastic bag usage in half.

But Sunday the Empire State Consumer Project of New York found the high lead content in Wegmans’ bags. Wegmans charges 99 cents each for the bags and reimburses shoppers 5 cents for each usable bag they bring in.

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