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Update: Majority Of VPR Artist Mugs Comply With Federal Guidelines

Fall 2005 Artist Mug

Ever since concerns about lead content in VPR Artist Mugs surfaced in late September, we have been working to understand the issue because the safety of our members is a top priority.
After receiving test results on a partial set of mugs two weeks ago, VPR decided to send a complete set of mugs produced over the past 11 years to a consumer safety laboratory in Milford, NH. We have received those results and can now deliver a summary of the situation:

  • As of this week, all 34 VPR Artist Mugs produced between Fall 2002 and Fall 2013 have gone through a three-part testing regimen to determine lead content in both the ceramic and inks used to produce the mugs.
  • 33 of the mugs meet applicable federal regulations for lead content in ceramic materials.
  • One mug, produced in Fall 2005 and pictured above, does not meet FDA guidelines and its use should be discontinued immediately. We have sent emails and printed letters to all members we have on record having received this mug. We also issued a press release to ensure that the information is shared as widely as possible. 
  • While many of the designs on the exterior of the mugs contain some lead in the ink, there is no specific federal guideline for this practice since they are intended for general use. The designs are also printed so that they fall below the “lip line” of the mugs.
  • The VPR Artist Mug Series is on a temporary hiatus while we reevaluate the various aspects of the program, including where our vendor sources the mugs and how they are produced.
  • Since we are unable to carry out comprehensive testing on each mug produced over the 20-plus years of the VPR Artist Mug Series, we are advising all members who may have received mugs produced before 2002 that lead content is a possibility and is something that should be considered.

Our goal from the beginning was to be open and transparent about this issue. As regular users of the VPR Artist Mugs ourselves, we empathize with those who have contacted us with questions and concerns. We have learned much over the last month as we navigated this complicated issue. We appreciate the support and encouragement that we’ve received from many of our listeners and will work diligently to maintain your trust and loyalty.

Michelle leads the team that oversees station branding, marketing, events, communications, and audience services. She joined VPR in 2002.
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