Lenox Dimension Collection Eternal China Plate.
When tested with an XRF instrument the glaze on this Made in the USA Lenox brand dish tested positive for 349,000 ppm Lead. That’s 34.9% Lead.
This is a newer dish! c. 1994
I was told this was approximately 20+ years old when tested in 2014, so this is from c. 1994. This pattern is still sold by Lenox today (see this link for testing of a more recent version of the same pattern.)
There is a second set of photos here of the same pattern manufactured circa. 2006. The newer version of this pattern is less than 70 ppm lead. They are difficult to tell apart – but the newer one has “dishwasher safe” integrated into the mark on the bottom.
For context: the amount of lead that is considered unsafe in a modern/ newly manufactured item intended for children is anything 90 ppm (or higher) Lead in the paint, glaze or coating and anything 100 ppm Lead (or higher) in the substrate. Dishes are not considered “items intended for use by children.” These dishes tested positive for 3,877 times that amount!
Some additional reading that may be of interest.
- To see the #LeadFree dishes I use in my home, click here.
- For more #SaferChoices for your family, click here.
- To see more Lenox brand pieces I have tested, click here.
- To read more about the testing methodology used for the test results reported on this blog, click here.
- To read more specifics about the concern for Lead in pottery and dishes, click here.
To make a contribution in support of my independent consumer goods testing and lead poisoning prevention advocacy work, click here. Thank you!
As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.
34.9% lead doesn’t make any sense, both from a chemistry standpoint or a reality check standpoint. A plate that has that much lead in it will weigh more than a solid steel plate of the same size. If you’ve ever held a steel plate, you notice the weight right away. You would never mistake it for a ceramic plate, or be able to reasonably compare it to a ceramic plate without mentioning the weight.
From a chemistry standpoint, there aren’t any lead ceramics that could make a plate with a chemical composition that would be close to 30-35%.
Did you mean that a certain portion of the plate, perhaps the decorative metal, had the high lead concentration? Usually you indicate that in your writing.
34.9% lead in the coating (the glaze). It is leaded glaze. The XRF does not read through to the substrate unless the coating is lead free.
In most cases it is the clear surface glaze that is highly leaded (similar to the way it creates a sheen and sparkle in leaded crystal, which is also about 34% lead!)
That makes sense. I feel like the post could have been clearer. Thanks.
Yeah – no problem. 800+ posts and counting… I try to cover all questions, but that is why I encourage folks to ask questions and keep them in the comments. Your comment is important and I appreciated it Evan!
Roberta Anderson says
I have a set of Lenox Eternal China from my aunt who purchased this ~ 1940’s. Does not say “Dimension Collection.”
How likely is it for the lead to leach from the glaze into the food on the plate that is then eaten? And how much lead would be ingested?
From the 1940s it would absolutely be likely to leach – especially with acidic foods (vinegar, tomato sauce, lemon juice, etc.) I would not use them. https://tamararubin.com/2018/04/a-short-story-of-a-small-vintage-ceramic-bowl-from-wisconsin-and-a-boy-that-was-poisoned/
Charlene G says
Lenox Eternal is my wedding china from 1976. It was not produced until 1965. The Dimension line was started in 1994. The Dimension like was created in 1994. So your set cannot possibly be any older than that. No 1940s but probably still not lead safe.
Omg this is the exact plate my mom has!!! I sent the link to her as soon as i saw this. We r in shock now. Thank you for testing these!!!! You have saved our lives. Please continue testing tumblers and mugs…
Thank you for commenting Jen! Happy to be of service!
My China pattern is Lenox Liberty from 1993. I would really appreciate any information you have about the lead content for that particular pattern.
Hi Anne, here’s the link about how to participate in the testing I do with my readers: 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/
Any veteran antiquer will tell you to stay away from vintage gilding as it almost always contains lead. I would not have expected that on dishes from the 1990s! For shame!
Thank you for commenting. Yeah – it really is shocking to see such high lead on such a relatively recent piece. That’s why I truly recommend sticking with newer clear glass or white undecorated (no painted designs) Corelle. There is no way for the average consumer to know if their dishes are lead-free.
Charlene G says
This is one of the top selling patterns ever produced by Lenox. I, along with many brides I knew chose it as my wedding china. I also have the Holiday Christmas dishes. These are both special occasion dishes used a few times a year but the whole time my children were growing up. I have few serving pieces in either pattern. Where was this information then? My first child was born in 1980 and we ate off of several different patterns over the years and I have found every single one on your website as testing high for lead. I would have thought thus would have been prominently in the news such that parents of that time could have known. The media did a very poor job, and now those of us who have raised their families already have to wonder what damage was possibly done. It’s an outrage. Glad it is getting out there now but I think the key word is cumulative. It happens over time so guess we will all have to pitch anything creates before a few years ago and start over. I can do that with my everyday but not my good. Only use it at Christmas now and too old to start over there. Good luck to young parents. Yet another thing for them to worry about.
Thank you for your thoughtful comment Charlene!
Is it safe to keep a complete set of the Lenox Eternal in cabinets but not use them for dining? Do you recommend discarding them?
I really do recommend either discarding them or asking the company for a Lead-free replacement set (ask them for a 1 to 1 exchange for free). They may do it – their new ones are lead free in most cases (they have learned their lesson on that one!) Keeping them around is too dangerous because someone may use them for dishes long after you are gone and that wouldn’t be good.
Here’s my overview post on that consideration: