Originally written November 23, 2017
Updated December 1, 2019
How much Lead is too much Lead?
For context, the hazard level for a modern/newly manufactured item intended for use by children is anything 90 ppm Lead or greater in the paint or coating. There is no regulation** limiting total lead content in dishes as detected with an XRF (especially vintage dishes) & this one is cracked and crazing, so likely leaching Lead into the contents, especially acidic contents like coffee!
What is the impact of high Lead in a mug like this?
Why is it a problem for me?
A mug with this high level of Lead in the glaze, especially a mug that is used daily by the same individual for an acidic beverage like coffee, can cause significant health impacts to the user. Symptoms of Lead poisoning in both adults and children can include headaches, dizziness, stomach upset, vomiting, G.I. issues, infertility, erectile dysfunction, and more. Please click through to this post to read more about Lead poisoning symptoms in adults. This post discusses the impact of Lead poisoning on children.
Based on my extensive experience working with families of Lead poisoned children and adults I would expect a person who drank from this mug daily (if this were their only source of exposure) to likely have a Blood Lead Level in the 4 to 10 micrograms per deciliter range. The higher end would be more likely if there were other chronic low level exposure sources in addition to a mug. Please click here read an excellent article about the impact of low level (chronic) Lead poisoning on children.
Looking for a new mug after reading this post?
Some mug free choices to start you in a search for a new mug….
Below are a few direct links to choices on Amazon for you to check out. Each of these choices is likely Lead-free or Lead-safe based on testing I have done to date. As a guideline for glass mugs please make a point to choose ones with no decorative writing (as well as no painted logo and no painted measurement markings.) If you order one of the sets below and find painted markings that are not shown in the pictures on the Amazon ads, please let me know so I can either test them or remove them from my selections. Painted markings on the outside of newly manufactured modern glassware are often positive for high levels of Lead. Thank you.
Note: Prices listed below were current at the time of updating this post but may have changed.
Some links you may want to click on for more information:
- To learn more about XRF testing, Click Here.
- To see more Johnson Brothers pieces I have tested, Click Here.
- To see more mugs I have tested, click here.
- For a post with some lead-free mug choices & guidelines for choosing lead-free mugs, click here
- For more #SaferChoices for your family, click here.
Takeway: In addition to steering people away from using vintage mugs, I recommend avoiding all vintage Johnson Brothers china, as it is consistently high Lead (usually 50,000 ppm Lead or higher) and sometimes also positive for Antimony and for high levels of Arsenic.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.
**There are only regulations on labeling newly manufactured Lead-containing items (like “Prop 65”) and to some degree regulations on leaching with modern / newly manufactured products [regulating detectable leaching only at the time of manufacture/ not potential leaching after years extensive use and deterioration], but not limits on total lead content in dishware as detectable with an XRF.
Amazon links are affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase after clicking one of these links I will receive a small percentage of what you spend, at no extra cost to you! Thank you!