#AskTamara: Guess Which of These Four White Glass Lamp Shades Has Lead and How Much!

Please take a look at the four white glass lamp shades below and guess which ones have lead and at what levels!  [This is a great “game” to play with your “newly lead-woke” friends!, Answers are posted below the final image.]

Click here for more examples of lamps I have tested.

Click here for more examples of white glass I have tested.

Q: Should I be concerned for lead in glass fixtures like this?

A: No, not generally.

  • This sort of item is generally going to be low enough lead that it is not going to chalk/shed lead into your environment.
  • You are not eating or drinking out of it, so it’s not going to leach, and that is not a concern.

The main concern might be if it breaks, and there are glass shards everywhere, and – if it is high lead – that there is lead in the debris from the broken glass, but really, in a case like a lamp, I would be more concerned about the bits of glass as a hazard than the lead; with the exception being leaded crystal, the lead in glassware used for this type of application is generally bound in the matrix of the item and not going to be released.

I also have concern for leaded brass lamp stands (and painted metal lamp stands.) In most (but not all) cases if the lead in a brass lamp stand is a hazard the brass will test positive with a LeadCheck swab (even if just a faint pink comes up, I would get rid of it.)

That said, I prefer that all consumer goods in our home (my home personally) have no lead at all.

If you have items with lead in your home, that means that the manufacturing process at some point called for the mining, refining and commercial use of lead – so the origination of the product contributed to the [neurotoxic] pollution of our planet.

I also personally avoid any desk lamps or table top lamps or lamps with any stands at all. My kids would just break them anyway!

What are some solutions or options?

I don’t have a lot of guidance in choosing lead-free glass fixtures and lamps (since this type of product is not regulated for lead at all, it is hard to make any kind of generalizations, other than “definitely avoid vintage products”), but I do have a childhood friend [our mothers were college roomies!] who has an amazing Iowa-based company that makes lamps and fixtures – many are from natural fibers and all are fabulous. He also does custom work where you can choose your own materials & he likes working in the “non-toxic” arena. [He also has his pieces in museums and other public locations, so you can be really proud to have his pieces in your home – knowing they are in good company.] Please check out his site here.

Ikea lamps can also be a good choice, as Ikea tends to adhere to European standards for toxicity content and manufacturing.

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Click here or click here! Thank you!


Example One:

Guess Which of These Four White Glass Lamp Shades Has Lead and How Much!

Example Two:
Guess Which of These Four White Glass Lamp Shades Has Lead and How Much!

Example Three:Guess Which of These Four White Glass Lamp Shades Has Lead and How Much!

Example Four:

Guess Which of These Four White Glass Lamp Shades Has Lead and How Much!

Answers to the lead testing done on these four examples are posted below the final image on this page! Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.

Tamara Rubin
#LeadSafeMama

 

Example One (ribbed bell):
42 +/- 11 ppm Lead (Pb).
No Mercury (Hg). No Arsenic (As). No Cadmium (Cd).

Example Two (cloudy swirled bell):
10,200 +/- 200 ppm Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd): 12 +/- 5 ppm.
No Mercury (Hg). No Arsenic (As).

Example Three (straight edged bell):
Non-Detect for Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd): 17 +/- 6 ppm.
No Mercury (Hg). No Arsenic (As).

Example Four (curved bell):
129 +/- 22 ppm Lead (Pb).
6,411 +/- 139 ppm Arsenic (As)
No Mercury (Hg). No Cadmium (Cd).

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