Q. Do Weck brand jars have Lead in the glass?
A. Yes. When tested with an XRF instrument this newer (2014) Weck canning jar tested positive for 142 ppm Lead.
For context: the amount of Lead that is considered unsafe in an item intended for children is anything 90 ppm lead or higher in the paint glaze or coating or anything 100 ppm or higher in the substrate. Kitchenware and glassware are not considered “items intended for children” and are therefore not regulated in the same way.
When I originally posted this (2014), a reader (Tricia) asked me if this was safe and this is my response to her:
I can’t make that call – as to whether or not they are safe. If you have concerns I think the best place to start would be to call Weck and ask them if they do leach testing and if they say “yes” – ask them if their leach-testing specifically replicates the conditions of long term fermenting of acidic contents. [The level noted above is testing that was done with an XRF instrument, which is distinctly different from leach testing.]
If they have done leach-testing and they can show you their white papers (documents showing the results of their leach-testing) – you should be good.
The level I found was very low (in the 140s) especially compared to the 300,000 to 500,000 ppm often found in leaded crystal… but I personally would not want to eat or drink something that was long-term fermented (or stored/pickled/canned) in a jar that tested positive for any amount of Lead.
Another thing you and your group could do is that maybe 10 of you could each send me a jar – and label each jar with a sticker or include a note that tells me the year and approximate date purchased as well as the location/ store/ state/ city purchased – and we can test each of these as a random sampling to see if that is consistent with the testing of the jar I tested up in Seattle (the one I posted on Facebook today.)
2015 UPDATE: After I originally posted this in 2014 I spoke with Weck directly. Weck then sent me a case of their jars – each of a different model and size, each newly manufactured/ their current batch (c. 2015). All of the jars and lids they sent me tested positive for lead in the same range as this one (which is also the same range of others I had tested previously.)
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