Q. Hi! Thank you for all you do!! Are the LeadCheck® test swabs from Home Depot sufficient enough to test my dishware? Also, even though Fiestaware says “Lead free: it could still have Cadmium in it, correct? Thank you and I follow all your work!
A. The short of it is that the LeadCheck® test swabs (while a terrific tool for testing for lead in paint) are not intended for nor effective in testing for Lead in most dishware.
LeadCheck® was specifically designed to test for lead in paint.
Some dishware is “low-fire” and may react to the LeadCheck® swabs in the same way as paint. As an example, the very popular vintage Franciscan Apple/Ivy/Rose/Cherry patterns will often test positive with a LeadCheck® swab.
However, most dishes are “high-fire” ceramic, and even if they contain a very high level of lead they may not test positive with a swab.
The only other common exceptions to this are the exterior colored designs on vintage Pyrex (and similar products) and the painted on decal type decorations on many new and vintage mugs and glasses (check out this study here) – those also frequently test positive for lead with a LeadCheck® swab, however if they test negative with a swab it does not mean the item does not have lead.
The only effective and consistently useful way to test dishware for Lead is with an XRF instrument [outside of a (potentially destructive) lab test – in which the item is sometimes pulverized and/or subsequently subjected to strong acids or incinerated to determine the total lead content—a process which has its own potential serious drawbacks, apart from the potential damage to or destruction of the item.] Consider the following scenario: very high-lead content concentrated only in some particular (otherwise lead-free) dish’s deteriorating painted surface coating could wind up reading like negligible lead content—if expressed solely as a percentage of that item’s total mass!
XRF testing will easily and quickly tell you if the item has Lead, and how much Lead the item has [although even an XRF test will have no way to confirm whether the lead is bioavailable and/or leaching into your food].
Since it’s not a simple (nor cheap) task to get your hands on an XRF, as consumers we need to demand that all of our dishware has NO LEAD, so that we don’t have to police the industry and test every single dish ourselves (which is simply not practical, given an XRF can cost tens of thousands of dollars.) That said, I test as many dishes as I can and post the results both here and on Facebook, so you may be able to check out the index for the site (click here) to see if I have already tested your particular brand/ pattern/ vintage for Lead—and at least that is a starting point!
I am working with parents around the country to host testing parties once a month or so, and if you want to chip in and help with the rental cost of the XRF you can send in a few items to be tested. To learn more about participating and getting your own stuff tested – check out this link.
Regarding Cadmium, yes… much of the Fiestaware I have tested has been positive for Cadmium, and sometimes even arsenic (depending on the color.) You can see some of the Fiestaware items I have tested here. I think as a guideline you could assume that same or similar colors may have similar results to the items I have tested (for the newer/ newly manufactured Fiestaware pieces.)
Thank you for writing.
Please share this post.
For #LeadFree and #LeadSafe options for your home and kitchen, please click here.
If you are interested in learning more about testing methodologies or would like a link to purchase LeadCheck® swabs (that won’t cost you extra but will benefit my advocacy work!), click here.
bill G says
XRF testing will easily and quickly tell you if the item has lead, and how much lead the item has [although even an XRF test will have no way to confirm whether the lead is bioavailable and/or leaching into your food].
Do you have any experience testing Johnson Bros. Blue Willow or Churchill Blue Willow? Just wondering if it has lead in the glaze.
I’m not sure. Can you send me a picture? Thanks!
Hi did you receive any information from Tamara about the Johnson and Johnson dishes I have the Thanksgiving pattern. I was wondering if they contain lead. Thanks
Janice Hamilton says
Yes I would also be interesred in Johnson bros. white dishes. Thank You Tamara Janice
All Johnson brothers that I have ever tested has been positive for Lead – and the older it is the more lead it has. If it is more than 10 years old I am not comfortable using any Johnson Brothers product (absent testing that specific product). Here’s the Johnson Brothers category on the website:
Here’s a plain white one: https://tamararubin.com/2018/12/johnson-brothers-fine-english-china-white-plate-with-scalloped-edges-70000-ppm-lead/
I have question about Terracotta cooking pots. Do they have lead in it?
Please respond me tried sending email too.
Hi Tamara: my husband has some Indian pottery bakeware. It’s beautiful, but I won’t use it because I don’t know if it has lead. After reading the above post, I’m not sure how to find out for sure! Is there a reliable test anywhere? Thank you!!
Can you share a picture with me?
Hi! I recently purchased the Pyrex storage bowls with glass lids (was excited to see they now have glass lids) but now I’m disappointed because I realized after reading your site that the painted Pyrex marking may be a concern. Have you tested these Pyrex covers? Thank you!
Can you share a picture with me? I have not seen the glass lids (or you can share a link.)
Here’s a link:
I have this one as well.
Want me to send you a cover?
I may have discovered a cursory way to test for lead in glaze on cups & dishes i would like to share. Maybe someone could comment?
For many years (am 58 now) i have been heating liquids & food in/on utensils in microwave ovens i have own. The majority of these utensils do not state ‘microwave safe’ on their bottom but since i have never run into problems, i use them in microwave anyway. But i recently acquired a coffee mug that has a very shiny metallic appearance, unlike anything i’ve own before. On the bottom it states, “Hand painted in Italy”. (Although it looks metallic, i know it’s ceramic since the bottom round edge of the mug is rough and the weight of the cup feels the same in my hand as all my other coffee mugs; it’s not unusually heavy nor light. And I know it would break if dropped on floor.)
When i first placed this mug in the microwave for a couple minutes to heat some milk, i burned myself when i grabbed the handle to remove the mug. It was extremely hot, but the milk inside was still cool. What should have happened is that the liquid should have been hot and the cup lukewarm. The mug absorbed all the energy from the microwave and shielded the milk inside, preventing the milk from heating. Is this because the shiny glaze on the mug contains lead? Lead is an excellent shield against radiation and X-rays and is regularly used for this purpose. Perhaps you or someone could comment on this possibility: If a dish or mug looks unusually shiny & metallic and gets excessively hot in the microwave, the glaze may contain lead.
This happens with my everyday dishes from Pottery Barn. I put them in the microwave and they get extremely hot but the item inside does not. Did you hear back whether this is a sure sign of lead?
This is not confirmation of lead, my understanding is that it is a common myth.
Potter here- while its unlikely there’s lead in your cup, ceramic glazes with a metallic are usually not very durable (ie they break down chemically faster than other glazes). It’s not gonna kill you or anything, but I would avoid microwaving it or putting it in the dishwasher.
Hi. Have you tested plain white (with clear glass lids) vintage corningware baking dishes?
I don’t believe I have, although some of the blue cornflower I have tested has been negative (although I understand others have tested the blue cornflower and it has been positive). https://tamararubin.com/2017/04/corning/
The interiors of these pans are also usually negative for lead.
Okay. Thank you
I would like to know if my old pyrex clear borosilicate glass ovenware with no color contains lead. I have gotten rid of my colored pyrex item but not sure if this clear glass older pyrex contains lead. Thank you
Even the vintage clear Pyrex is usually lead free. It is a very good choice.
margaret lord says
hi tamara!! recently purchased a bunch of old dishes to do cupcake stands, cake stands for a craft/yard sale show i am participating in. about 1/4 of them tested very high, as in 50ppm for lead. obviously, these are NOT SAFE for any food stuffs. is it dangerous to physically touch dishes that are 50 ppm of lead? thanks a bunch. you really do an amazing job with this stuff!!
Hi! 50 ppm lead is fairly low. Do you mean 50,000 ppm lead? Many of the vintage dishes test positive in the 30,000 to 50,000 ppm lead range. It would depend on the age of the dish and how high fire it is as to whether touching it is a hazard. For things like Franciscan Apple brand dishes I believe the lead is likely to rub off on your fingers in most circumstances. If the dishes test positive with a swab then it is very likely that the lead can also rub off on your fingers. If they are negative with a swab, it is less likely. I wash my hands after touching anything I know that could be positive with a swab. You might find some pretty low-lead, lead-free dishes at target or Walmart that are also inexpensive and would work for cupcake stands. That said if you are using them in that way, put a doily down. Since cupcakes are served in paper cups I don’t have too much of a concern (especially if the dishes did not test positive with a swab.)
Hi Tamara, My husband and I have been using a set of vintage Metlox California Provincial Poppytrail Rooster dinner ware for over 20 years. We use it every day. I just read on the internet that vintage ware can contain lead. Do you know if Metlox California Provincial Poppytrail Rooster dinner ware contains lead? Is there a way to test it? I tried to paste a picture of it from the internet, but it wouldn’t paste here. I live in Philadelphia, PA. Thanks for the amazing work you do! Debbie
Thank you. Could you email me a photo? TamaraRubin@mac.com, front image and back mark too. Do you know what year it was made?
I am curious as to the answer about the lead in the California Poppytrail Rooster Green dishes. I just bought a set. Thanks. Elaine
I just purchased a bunch of glass jars from ikea to store my dry food in for my pantry. Then I heard they’re made in china and contain lead. Are they safe to use or do I now need to start over?
I have never found any lead in Ikea glass jars that I can recall. Generally Ikea has stricter standards (they go by European standards) than other vendors and they are a good choice as a result.
I’m sorry to say but IKEA does not follow stricter guildlines. They don’t even follow the voluntary safety guildlines in America for their dressers/furniture. That’s why little kids keep dying from IKEA dressers falling over and crushing them. IKEA cares about their bottom line, not making their products safe for the consumer. If it costs more money to make safe but isnt mandatory, they will not make it safe. Google kids dying from IKEA dressers. There’s even a docu-series on Netflix that did an episode about IKEA. It will make you think twice before buying from that company!
Ashley Hinrichs says
Every piece of furniture I have ever purchased from IKEA comes with hardware to secure it to the wall so it doesn’t tip over onto kids climbing on it. If the parent fails to use the items and secure it, that is definitely not IKEAs fault.
I have some pottery soup bowls from Dryden Pottery made in 1984. I have been using these bowls for hot foods and have used the bowls in the microwave since 1984. Recently, I was told that the glaze on them does contain lead. How can I tell if these bowls are safe to use for eating?
Leach testing can be destructive and costly. If they are known to be positive for lead I would just stop using them.
Charlynn, check out this post: https://tamararubin.com/topics/does-vintage-and-new-functional-pottery-and-dishware-have-unsafe-levels-of-lead/
Tina Ray says
I realize this is an older post, but it has recently been brought to my attention. I have the Corelle dinnerware “Abundance” set (fruit on the plates). I have used this set for almost 20 years, Using it to feed my children and now my grandchildren. I am (understandably) very concerned about your findings of 48,900 ppm of lead in this pattern.
My question to you is, if the swabs are not accurate in testing dishware and the other method is so expensive, how did you come about your findings? I have had people question the validity of your claims. (Your blog is new to me, so I’m just double checking.)
I have reached out to Corelle and am awaiting an answer from them regarding this (not too hopeful that they will be completely straightforward, however.)
I just want to find out if my dinnerware needs to be replaced.
Thank you for a prompt reply!
– Tina Ray
Hi Tina Ray!
Here’s the post that answers those questions for you! https://tamararubin.com/2016/12/ask-tamara-what-do-you-use-to-test-for-lead/
Do you know if vintage milk bottles contain lead?
Yes the paint on vintage and new milk bottles is often very high lead, please check out this category of posts on my site. Thank you. https://tamararubin.com/category/milk-bottle/
Hi Tam, just found your site today in my beginning quest to find out if my bowls from the Dollar Tree have lead. I figure they do, cheap and from china.
But wanted to know if you have ever tested any.
Seasonally they come out with Fall, Xmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine sets of bowls, cups, plates, etc.
Mine are bright orange or white with designs.
What does the mark on the bottom say?
Hello Tamara! I am currently on a mission to find glass jugs to store my families water for a week at a time (instead of using plastic jugs). I have seen you have tested the Mountain valley spring water jugs, but unfortunately I do not have easy access to those jugs. I have found several on Amazon (mostly growler gallon glass jugs, which should do the trick), but some descriptions don’t say whether it is lead/cadmium free while others just say lead free, and even then can I trust what they are saying? I was wondering if you had a brand that is more reputable for lead free glass that may carry gallon jugs. Thank you for all you do!
Sorry I don’t have a good answer for you on this, I just have not done enough testing of gallon-size glass jugs to have a recommendation at all. I would say in general stick with clear glass and avoid recycled glass – but outside of those parameters I haven’t yet collected enough info.
Abby B. says
Hi there! I just bought a set of unmarked vintage champagne glasses that have a gold-rimmed lip. Do you think they are safe to drink out of (once a year)?Thanks!
Thank you for the amazing info! I had been collecting fiesta ware because of the lead free they claim. I had no idea about the cadmium and arsenic. SMH. Are there any dinnerware/mugs/drinking glasses//cooking pots/pans that are free of all hazardous metals/other hazards? I just am at the end of my rope now. I can’t find anything. I thought I had found fiesta and it took me a long while to find just that. But now that’s out and I still don’t know what to do for pots and pans either.
Have you tested any vintage Russell Wright Steubenville pottery? I just bought a set and my mom thinks it likely contains lead.
I don’t believe I have – although I remember that stuff from my childhood. I think it is likely leaded (educated guess).
I came here to ask the same thing about Russel Wright Steubenville pottery and was not able to find any information by searching your site. My dad used to collect it and since he passed away, it has held sentimental value to me. Would love if you could do a test on Russel Wright stuff as he was a pretty popular pottery designer. I know the new stuff made by Bauer is supposed to be lead-free.
Thank you for commenting.
Bauer is generally VERY HIGH LEAD (not lead-free at all), here’s one example: https://tamararubin.com/2018/08/leaded-bauer-vintage-celadon-pottery-made-in-los-angeles/
Here’s the Bauer category of posts on my site: https://tamararubin.com/category/bauer/
Here’s how to participate in the testing reported on this site: https://tamararubin.com/2017/07/subscribe-in-support-of-my-advocacy-work-you-can-become-eligible-to-send-in-a-box-of-your-things-for-testing/
Or alternately: https://tamararubin.com/2019/08/tamara-can-i-send-you-one-of-my-dishes-to-test-for-lead/
Let me know if you have questions.
Have you tested Lenox Hannah Platinum? I purchased my set in 2004. They look similar to opal innocence.
Hi. I was wondering if you had ever tested one of the Robinson Ransbottom stoneware crocks before? (It’s the water crocks with a crown stamp and blue stripes on them.) A friend gave me one and I’d love to use it, and she suggested the lead test kit at Home Depot, but after reading your post about how that may not be an effective test, well, I don’t know what to do…
I called Fiesta wanting to know “their statement” on cadmium. The gentleman was very helpful and sent me a list of the colors that include cadmium and the ones that don’t. I agree with you, I don’t want ANY cadmium, but at least now I get to keep my Fiesta. Very happy!
Just thought I’d share!
Thank you Tiffani! Yes – someone sent me that list recently. I need to publish it on my blog so that everyone has access to it. I’m surprised they do not publish it themselves given they make it available when people ask.
Thank you for commenting!
ella moore says
Hi Tamara! 2 questions: 1. do you know anything about sophie conran dishes and if they contain lead? my boyfriend is from the UK and says they are a high end brand there but I want to make sure and can’t find any researching on them. We have plates/bowls/mugs for them all white ceramic (most of the time I use my glass instead, from one of the brands u recommended on here)
2. I am trying to replace our hot water heater/electric kettle and some non toxic sites suggest glass ones like this https://www.amazon.com/Electric-Miroco-Stainless-Protection-Indicator/dp/B07JNBFQ1Y/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=3BPV1D7WWVVGD&keywords=cosori+electric+kettle&qid=1561611022&s=gateway&sprefix=cosori+%2Caps%2C222&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1 but It has a stainless steel bottom on the inside and I am wondering I that will leach lead or heavy metal toxins when heated.
Thanks so much!
Hi Tamara, have you tested any of the dishes at Anthropologie? I got a set of Old Havana mint dishes there in 2015. They still carry them — and are made in Portugal. I saw you tested on of their fancy knobs and it was positive.
Most products I have tested that came from Anthropologie have been positive for very high levels of Lead. As a rule I do not trust that brand AT ALL!
Thank you for commenting.
I learnt about you and your work from the Traditional Cooking School website run by Wardee.
What has your research informed you about cookware?
I have been looking for a Dutch oven of about 5-qt size since our old Scanpan gave up on our high-heat Asian Indian cooking.
Your website has much educated me about all the stuff that goes into the making of ‘modern’ cookware.
Researching online, I noticed this piece produced by Waxonware of Portland, Oregon, (https://amzn.to/2Xt7s8I )
In addition to this one, they advertise a second one with a “green” coating.
I shall be glad to hear from you.
Hello! So if a piece of dishware comes back “negative” with a leadcheck swab, but comes back “positive” using an XRF instrument….does that mean that the dishware is safe as long as it is not pulverized or cracked or the surface breached in some way? I thought a negative test with a leadcheck swab was pretty reliable? Thank you.
P.S. I just checked some glassware from Anthropologie that is clear with a white painted swirl on the outside. I checked both the clear part and the swirl part — both came back negative. To prep, I put in 2 T of vinegar and let it stand 24 hours, then tested a drop of the vinegar fluid (I guess the idea is that the lead would have leached into the liquid).
That’s a great question and unfortunately the answer is “no”. It just doesn’t work that way. I will expound upon this later when I have a moment.
I was also curious about this test method?
I am buying some inexpensive dishware for my college student and wondered if made in China products can typically be expected to contain lead?
Thank you for all the content you have shared . I’m actually really confused on which company’s baker to buy for roasting, baking vegetables, cakes etc.
Pyrex and Anchor have stopped making Borosilicate glassware which is considered non toxic as I read.
I went to Xtrema’s website but didn’t have a proper sized baker option.
What are your views on EMILE HENRY bakeware?
Here’s a link to what I’m looking at:
Thank you 🙂
Tonja Carlson says
I have taken all of my tupperware out of my cupboard. It was a lot I was a dealer! so I have some dishes from my mother- in-law and I am wondering if you have ever tested them.The brand is KYS-ITE made in USA 239. At the top there is a circle with a star with a “K” in it. They are kind of a hard pressed almost wood looking dishes. Not plastic I think.
Have you tested any Tupperware from the late 80’s? The pieces we use all the time are the sandwich keepers – I have a couple of beige ones with clear lids, but most are clear with colored lids. We also store cereal and rolled oats in the clear cereal keepers (with dark blue lids, though I have one light pink) from that era, and other dry goods such as flour in the Modular Mates large square containers, most have red lids though I have some blue. I also have these same beige (not yellow) measuring cups and spoons. I was a dealer for a few years I believe it was 1986-1989.
I believe that old Tupperware contains Formaldahyde (not sure of the spelling) which is deadly. Anything that contains formaldahyde should not be used for food or water. Cheers, Ann.
Laura Donna says
Do you know anything about the safety of Metlox Vintage dishes? Thank you!
Susan Patton says
I have had a full set of Heath “Sea and Sand” since the late 1960s, and I love it. It rarely breaks or chips so saw no reason to replace it. But now I’m concerned whether such an old set might indeed contain lead. Would appreciate any help from you, and thanks!
1960s Heath is highly likely to be leaded – you could send me a piece to test if you like: https://tamararubin.com/2019/08/tamara-can-i-send-you-one-of-my-dishes-to-test-for-lead/
They were using high Lead glazes as late as the late-1990s.
Susan Patton says
I am sending you a Heath bowl to test. Will get it in the mail tomorrow. Enclosing $25 to help with expenses. You do not need to return the bowl to me (it’s got a chip so can go bye bye).
Thank you so much for your help!!!
Thank you! I will keep an eye out for it!
I would like more information regarding the testing process. Can you tell us more about the XRF machine? Is this instrument the industry standard for testing? Do you have the machine at home or is it located in a laboratory? How is it being serviced/calibrated? Who is operating the machine and have they been trained/certified in its operation? Is your background in science? Have the results been duplicated by other labs?
Not a scientist, but a fan of the scientific method
All of those questions you have asked here are answered in the linked posts in the menu bar of this website under “Lead Testing”, start with the post “What do you use to test for Lead?”
Mary Frances says
Hi, I just sent you some pictures of a couple of sets of dishes that I purchased. Have you ever tested these two.
Hi Mary! Emailed you back! Thank you for commenting!
I just came across your site. I have a set of Heirloom Fine
China 3512 that was a wedding gift to us 48 years ago. A friend mentioned to me that she had been reading about lead in dishes. Do you know from your research if there is lead in these dishes? They were made by Harmony House.
I have some dishes/bowls inherited from my mom that appear to be tempered glass (they look just like the arcoroc Fleur line but I have no real way to confirm; they would also be at least 26-30 years old). I stopped using them during my first pregnancy since I wasn’t sure of their safety, but after researching online and figuring it was safe tempered glass, we began using them again. Now I’m concerned again because one site that sells them indicates they are lead free but there is still a prop 65 warning. Very confusing. Any tips on finding a lab that I could take them to for testing?
Have you tested any of the pottery from heath ceramics?
Carrie Marie Burden says
I have 2 questions:
I am currently using Birchmere China by Thomas Haviland, New York, made in America. I’m using it everyday and want to make sure it doesn’t have lead in it. I am washing it in the dishwasher.
I have Wyndham by Pfaltzgraff and my son wanted me to save it for him. Does this pattern contain lead?
Thank you for your expertise!
Melissa Whitaker says
Does that mean that the Franciscan dishware (desert rose) has lead or not? Or the test is simply inaccurate for the dishware, so you can’t tell? I inherited a huge amount of this from my mother-in-law and if it’s toxic I don’t want to use it for my 1 yo son!
Hello! I recently purchased the Le Creuset 5.5 Quart stock pot in white with a gold handle. Have you tested one like this? I can’t find a way to get it tested. I’ve also heard from hearsay that Le Creuset even in Dune (which I also have) contains aluminum,is this true? Thanks!
Eileen Stewart says
Have you tested Corelle’s Lace Bouquet? It is a very dainty and light pattern (blues and white over cream background) and I love it and hoping it is still safe to eat off of…. Thank you!
Hi Tamara, thank you for the useful article. I have been using an antique white deep bowl from west germany for about a year to soak beans overnight. The thought came to me that there may be some harmful chemicals in the glaze, especially since the interior of the bowl has little cracks (spiderweb type) that over time took up the black color from bean soaking. So i purchased some of those 3m lead test swabs that you crack and rub on a surface. When I rub it on the inside or outside of the bowl I do not get a reaction from the swab — however when i tried to scrub the glaze with some mild sandpaper, I do get that area turning pink color which leads me to believe there is indeed lead in that glaze. Now, because unscrubbed the surface did not react, does that mean that my food was not getting contaminated while I was using the bowl? I obviously no longer plan to use it, but am trying to gauge my and my family’s exposure since I was using the bowl for about a year and especially recently during covid we have been soaking beans in it at least 2x a week overnight…
Hello Tamara, my landlord scraped paint off the front porch, and left the debris everywhere in the yard. I tested with a lead paint test swab (3M) and the paint chips I tested caused the swab to turn bright pink right away. While waiting for the city to come out, it rained twice. When the city rep came, he took a few paint chips with him for testing. A day later, he told me that the paint chips tested NEGATIVE for lead. I then went outside again and tested the paint chips, and the 3M swab did NOT turn pink, at all. I am totally confused. Is it possible that lead in paint chips can ‘wash away’?
Ibra Khalife says
I wanted to ask you if you have any reservations against REVOL brand? I would really appreciate your thoughts. Everyone claims material is porcelain but I have not seen any that say that it is free from hazardous elements/materials.
Thank you very much!
Wanted your input if these pans have lead
thank you for the amazing info you are sharing and helping so many of us.
John Louchheim says
Hi Tamara –
Have you tested Spode Cowslip pattern? We inherited a really beautiful set of these dishes (a wedding gift to my parents from 1947) but don’t want to use them, especially with our grandkids, if they contain and give off dangerous lead levels.
Thanks so very much for your good work!
– John & Sue
I haven’t tested that pattern, John – however Spode has a bad history / track record. Here’s the Spode category on the blog (there are a few results to look through):
Here’s a video on how to navigate the website (might be worth watching if you have not seen it yet!):
Thanks for commenting!
Hi John & Sue! I just wrote this post for you! 🙂 Hopefully it will help others too!
Out of ELEVEN Spode examples currently on the blog only one is in the Lead-safe range, the rest are all very high Lead. The one in the Lead-safe range was manufactured recently (I think in the past 5 years.)
Kathryn Campesi says
Can you please tell me if the Lenox pattern “Westchester” gold rimmed manufactured in the 1950’s has lead in it. I called several agencies and I can get NO answers . I have an opportunity to buy ths 1950’s china for a decent price, but of course I don’t want ot buy it if it leaches lead. I would only use a couple of times a year, but still, don;t want to leave my children something that is potentially dangerous. Can you please tell me what you know???
Have you ever tested those photo mugs you can order from places online? I am curious about those.
Yes – please put “photo mug” in the search bar and you will see several examples.
Thanks for commenting!
Katharine Field says
I am impressed by the work you do. However, as a scientist, I worry that you are misinforming non-scientists who read your results. You have tested a lot of different kinds of china and pottery for lead content, and you report high levels in many of them. However, if the lead is not leaching out of the china, it is not harmful. People will assume that these high lead contents means they should discard the products, but in much of these products, the lead is safely contained and using them is not dangerous, even to babies. I think you need to distinguish between products that CONTAIN lead, and products that PROVIDE EXPOSURE to lead.
I’m trying to think of a comparison. For example, we know that peaches and apples contain cyanide in their seeds. But, we don’t eat peach and apple seeds, so it would be incorrect to imply that eating peaches and apples will expose people to cyanide, so we should all stop eating those fruits.
Hi Katherine, thanks for commenting. I address those considerations in this post:
Donna Allstaedt says
Are you aware if the Lenox Pattern Kingsley has lead in it?
Or the Wade Porcelain china Diane which is from Japan has lead in it?
Hi Donna. If I don’t have a post about the brand or design on the blog I most likely do not have specific detailed information for you. Here’s the video about searching the blog (it’s worth the watch as it will make it easier for you to search in the future):
I would look at some of the other Lenox patterns (to start) to see if any resemble yours. Here’s the Lenox overview post:
In general I don’t like the brand as they have denied responsibility for past Lead use but have switched to Lead-free glazes in recent yers.
Here’s my post about sending in a dish:
Linda Kam says
Thank you for the information that you share at your site to help everyone be more aware of lead exposure.
I have a set of Noritake China. The label under each piece says Japan 5698 Damask.
I did some research online and sites say that Damask was made from 1955-1973. The dates as well as the raised decorations make me concerned about lead. I searched your site but didn’t see this particular model of Noritake china.
Do you think we can safely assume that the pieces have lead? Or would you recommend that we have a piece tested? We would hate to have to get rid of the set or turn them into just display case items. But it would be even worse if family members got lead poisoning.
Thanks for any advice you can provide!
Hi Linda! Thanks for commenting – read this post and send me a picture. If it I think it has lead (based on your photos) you may not need to test it – compare it to the back marks of the pieces I have up on the website – if the back mark is similar the lead levels are likely similar:
Noritake Category (there are nine posts in this category to scroll through):
Linda Kam says
Thank you, Tamara,
I checked the 9 Noritake posts and the back mark on the Damask pieces I have look similar to the back mark on the post you have for Vintage Noritake Rosedawn China Saucer which has 993 ppm lead. So sad! I will send pictures to Tamarubin@mac.com
Thank you for your help!
Linda Kam says
I sent pictures of the Damask pieces to TamaraRubin@mac.com
Please let me know if they are similar enough to the Rosedawn china you tested that the lead content would likely be similar as well- in other words best not to use for food or drink.
Thank you for your help!
Gloria Todd says
Hello, Tamara. I just purchased two mugs (pottery? ceramic?) as a Valentine’s Day gift for my son and DIL. I should have read the negative reviews before ordering them. However, these both are attractive and have no visible flaws. However, since they are made in China, I am concerned about the possibility that they may contain lead. I need to know asap, and was about to order a test kit from Amazon, but after reading a few things on your website, I’m not sure if any test kits from Amazon are accurate for this, and I cannot afford anything expensive. Can you please advise me?
Thank you very much.
Hello! I’m looking for lead info on Merriment Temperware by Lenox dishes. I’m not seeing these on this site and was wondering if you could test a dish. Would love to know if I should get new dishes. Thank you!
Here’s a similar example for context (so yours are likely leaded & the arsenic is also concerning) https://tamararubin.com/2019/07/vintage-lenox-temper-ware-fall-bounty-plate-173200-ppm-lead-90-is-unsafe-1775-ppm-arsenic/
Jane Fuller says
Has anyone done testing to see if the Corelle paint actually DOES leach into food? All my dishes are Corelle Old Town Blue, many of them passed on to me by my mother, and my casseroles are Cornflower Blue. (Not worried about them as the food doesn’t touch the painted portion.)
I’m a senior, and never have children in my home (never had kids). I really can’t afford to replace my china.
My good china is Johnson Brothers Blue Nordic, purchased around 1992, and now I’m worrying about that, because the food does touch the paint with that china! However, I rarely use it.
Maybe I should just get a blood test for lead – I’ve been eating off these dishes since I was in my early teens, and am now 70 years old!
Do you have experience with Wild Oats Stonehenge by Midwinter?
I have an entire set that we have been using for years and am possibly going to ditch it.
I have not tested these, sorry. Based on looking at them (and reading the description on replacements) I think they could go either way. For some context here’s the Made in England category:
Here’s the Stoneware Category:
Look through those examples.
If you want to send one in for testing (a small plate would be best) – here is how the testing and reporting works here on this website:
Elizabeth C. says
We recently purchased a dinnerware and glassware set from an estate store and the only labels we could locate was a stamp on the bottom of the dinnerware that says “Faeince Provençal du poet-laval” and the glassware stamped “HFM”. We swabbed the dinnerware and the glassware and they tested negative. We have no idea of when it was made and I would like to use it but I want to be cautious. Do you have any information regarding these dishes?
I recently purchased an old set of Apple Blossom, Ridgeway England china and discoved much of it has crazing on the surfaces. Have you ever tested this pattern?
What do you say to someone who wonders if the xrf results showing high lead but the lead check swabs showing negative means that the lead is high fired in the glaze and lead is not leaching?
I tell them to read this: