When tested with an XRF instrument almost all of the KitchenAid brand mixer attachments (of the many that I have tested to date) have been positive for Lead*.
This is true of the ones with the white coating and of the ones with the shiny or dull gray finish. This also includes the top-knobs on the whisk attachment [particularly odd – considering the main body of said whisk is made of intrinsically Lead-free stainless steel!).
In general, over the years since I originally posted this information, KitchenAid has been completely dismissive of this concern in their communications with my readers (who often contact them after reading the posts I have written on this subject.)
While I am not as concerned about the white enameled paddles and blades (if used occasionally), I am DEFINITELY concerned about the shiny or dull gray “Burnished” bare metal paddles and blades — as I have heard from countless readers that (after even one use) those paddles tend to leave gray streaks in the food as it is mixed. [Note: when these “Burnished” attachments are purchased new, they have a shiny finish, but after use they start turning a dull gray.]
December 2018 Update: Good News — just recently [in 2018], I learned that KitchenAid has FINALLY come out with a version of their blades and paddles in full stainless steel construction!!! I have not yet tested these (and would like to do so – to confirm that the top knob is not still made from grey, leaded “pot metal“), but I am excited to get my hands on these new products and test them! [And I can’t help but think that it has been the influence of you, my readers that put consumer demand on KitchenAid to make these Lead-free versions of their paddles and mixing attachments.]
From the William Sonoma website:
Note (perhaps of interest): By selling the stainless set as an intentional “upgrade” it has to make you wonder what their official stance is on the non-upgraded original attachments!
To see more KitchenAid attachments and other KitchenAid branded products I have tested (many of which test positive for Lead when tested with an XRF instrument), Click HERE.
For the image above:
KitchenAid Attachments, c. 2014: As high as 2,434 ppm Lead
Left to right (in the image above and below):
1) KitchenAid: 1,655 ppm LEAD on white,
2) KitchenAid: 110 ppm LEAD in top knob,
3) KitchenAid: 2,434 ppm LEAD,
4) KitchenAid: 333 ppm LEAD,
5) last one, NOT KitchenAid Brand, and… NO Lead! [Amazon link here to this product*].
The 4th one from the left (I was told) is newish purchased [c. 2014]. I don’t know the exact ages of the other ones.
The readings are XRF readings done by me [and yes, I am trained and certified in using an XRF] and they are generally considered “surface” readings. It is hard to know how deep/thick the item’s surface coating is — and that would inform us as to whether the Lead-reading is all in the coating or if it is reading through the coating to a higher Lead level in the substrate (metal base) underneath. The three white items are all [some kind of] enamel-coated metal.
As you can (and many manufacturers do) make kitchen items and cookware with no Lead – we (as consumers) should expect high standards from a name like KitchenAid, so I personally am disappointed to find any Lead in these products — regardless of whether or not it is leaching.
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