Vintage Lenox Charleston Pattern China Teacup: 85,000 ppm Lead.
Most people assume that vintage china like this (made by a well known, “reputable” brand name) is safe to eat off of. This is simply not true. Most vintage Lenox china I have tested has been positive for high levels of lead. [Some of the newer Lenox china I have tested has been Lead-free or at least Lead-safe.]
My rating for this china?… Grade: “F”
“F” = I would not want to use it in my home, I would (politely) refuse to drink anything that you served in it in your home. I would advise you to chuck it. Vintage glazed china with high lead levels has often been found to leach unsafe levels of lead into the food being served in/on it. Drinking tea or coffee from this cup would be a definite “no-no” in my book!
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Note: the amount of lead that is considered safe in an item intended for children is anything below 90 ppm lead, this is far above 90 ppm lead!
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Celeste Adams says
Do you know how old that Lenox China was? I have some that I use from the 80s just wondering if it is safe or not. Thanks
Lenox from the 1980s is still really high in lead. (often).
Walter Baker says
This just goes to show that being made in the USA or any 1st world nation doesn’t guarantee the safety of the ceramic. I don’t trust any ceramic at all the beautiful aesthetics are not worth the trouble and anxiety of determining safety.
I bought two Homer-Laughlin Gothic Mugs for $.50 each at the thrift store and it is labeled as lead free and information about this company says they’re high fired. However I am considering throwing them away anyway as part of adopting a principle of not trusting any ceramic for fear of letting one bad item slip through.
Mariellen Weaver says
So can we assume that the plates from the set will have high levels of lead? Did you test any Charleston.plates?
Caroline Johnson says
I have this same question, because some china plates are less on the interior.
Would there be an exposure / leach concern if a toddler were to just for a few seconds pretend to “sip” from one of these cups? That happened to me recently. My parents have some cups by Royal Elfreda with flower and gold trim. My daughter just pretended to sip from it once and I’m kind of freaking out now whether this is enough to cause concern. No liquids or actual drinking were involved, thankfully…
Read this for context:
And read this:
I would not let my own children use something like that personally – even just for pretend.