A travel mug that Ikea has recalled in other countries is still being sold in the U.S., as the company says the version sold here is safe for consumers.
The retail giant pulled the TROLIGTVIS plastic mug from nearly all of its markets after tests showed that a version of the mug made in India could leach chemicals into the liquid it holds. “IKEA recently received test reports showing that the travel mug may migrate levels of Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) exceeding the prescribed limits,” the company wrote in a statement.
Dibutyl phthalate is a compound used to make plastic that the European Union considers a possible endocrine disrupter. Certain concentrations of the chemical are banned in children’s toys and additional products in both the E.U. and the United States. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not classify DBP as a carcinogen, though it notes that animals exposed to the chemical orally may have “developmental and reproductive effects.”
Ikea is urging customers worldwide to return the mug for a refund, no receipt needed. But you can still buy the mug for $1.99 in the United States, Canada, and the Dominican Republic.
That’s because the version sold in these markets has a different manufacturer and has not been shown to leach DBP—even though the design and the materials are the same, Ikea says. “We have two different suppliers, one in Italy and one in India,” an Ikea spokesperson wrote to Co.Design in an email. “It is only the TROLIGTVIS travel mugs made in India that are affected by the recall. We are still investigating why this happened, and how this could happen.”
Ikea previously banned the use of phthalates—a broad group of chemicals used to manufacture plastic—in products that come into contact with food. Exposure to some phthalates has been linked to fertility and reproductive issues in animals and to neurodevelopmental problems such as attention deficit and lower IQ in human children.
Ikea insists that even the mugs manufactured in India have “a very low risk of any immediate negative health effect.” Still, if you’ve been mulling whether to get rid of all the plastic in your life, there’s no time like the present.