White plate by Homer Laughlin: 75,032 ppm Lead.
Pre-2015, exact year unknown. Made in U.S.A.
There’s a common myth circulating around the internet (and among home hazard assessors and others in the business of Lead poisoning prevention too) that plain white simple ceramic dishes are generally Lead-free. This simply is not true and the Homer Laughlin plate pictured on this post is a good example of that.
When tested with an XRF instrument this simple, white, plain (innocent looking) dish tested positive for 75,032 ppm Lead. For context, the amount of Lead that is considered unsafe (and illegal) in a newly manufactured item intended for use by children is anything 90 ppm Lead for higher in the paint, glaze or coating and anything 100 ppm Lead (or higher) in the substrate. Dishes are not generally regulated for XRF detectable limits on Lead as they are not considered to be “items intended for use by children” unless they are specifically sold and marketed as baby dishes and manufactured after 2011.
On the other hand, there ARE a lot of Lead-free simple white choices if you know where to look.
- Restaurant supply stores are a good (inexpensive) place to start your search. While the food surface of the dishes may be Lead-free the back marks of restaurant dishes may have some amount of Lead. Here’s a good example of that. I would not use dishes with a Leaded back mark in my home.
- Ikea also has good Lead-free or Lead-safe plain white choices…
- The Dollar Store also has Lead-safe plain white ceramic dishes!
- …& now even Crate & Barrel seems to have realized that this is something their customers are looking for in a product. As a result many newer Crate & Barrel choices I have tested recently have been completely Lead-free! [LINK]
- Homer Laughlin is the manufacturer of the Fiestaware brand. New Fiestaware white pieces I have tested have either been Lead-free or Lead-safe** (Click HERE to see some examples), so that’s an option too.
**”Lead-safe” (for the purposes of my blog) means “below 90 parts per million Lead.”
Some additional posts and links for those interested in more information related to this post.
- Read more about testing dishes here.
- Click HERE to see more examples of white china I have tested, including several Lead-free options.
- To see the #LeadFree dishes I use in my home, click here.
- Here’s a link to a good new white Fiestaware set on Amazon.*
- For more #SaferChoices for your family, Click HERE.
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*Amazon links are affiliate links. If you purchase something after clicking on one of my links I may receive a small percentage of what you spend at no additional cost to you.
To make a contribution in support of my independent consumer goods testing and lead poisoning prevention advocacy work, Click HERE. Thank you!