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Testing Vintage Pyrex with a LeadCheck Swab from Tamara Rubin on Vimeo.
Thank you for posting this important information for the consumer. I have many, many vintage pieces and it seems most of them will be testing positive for lead. How do I dispose of them properly? I don’t want to throw them into recycling as the lead will be recycled. If I throw them in the trash, which is to bad, because they are beautiful, won’t the lead seep into the land fills and water ways? This is a major dilemma for sure.
Why not leave them with an antiques dealer or someone who knows what you have and just wants to DISPLAY them, and not USE them? Or display them yourself? When I was in real estate, we had lead disclosures. The basic consensus is that, if your house in Illinois is built before 1978, you PROBABLY have lead in the paint. Nobody wants to check, though, because once you KNOW, you have to tell everyone that might rent or buy it for example.
In GENERAL, if you don’t try to sand it and it isn’t peeling, you should be fine. Putting it on a shelf or in a case isn’t likely to kill you, I wouldn’t think. You could put a post it inside that reads NOT FOOD SAFE, CONTAINS HIGH LEAD ETC…
I think you could be in the same position with things like melamine in hard plastic plates and bowls. Look up the melamine poisoning from baby/pet food made in China. Normally whatever they replace it with is often as bad or worse for another reason. Don’t panic. Personally, we have a few of these types of things, and all still alive. Grew up with a lot of it. Nobody I know has cancer. Not saying stay ignorant, just don’t freak out. Btw, she isn’t taking into account YOU ABSORB LEAD or anything, through the SKIN. Handling it shouldn’t be so blasé if it’s tens of thousands of times over legal lead limit.
Thank you for sharing all this wonderful information about vintage ceramics / glazes.
I also have a slew of old Pyrex bowls. If the glaze color w/ lead is on the outside of the bowl, does it leech
into the inside of the bowl where the food is?
If the lead is only on the outside and doesn’t leech, why aren’t these bowls safe to use?
Same goes for mugs, glassware, I guess. Does the lead readily come off and absorb through the skin when
you simply hold one of these items?
I appreciate your expertise!
Laurel Ebersohl says
I, too, have the same concern. If lead is found on the decoration on the outside, is it safe to use? I’m thinking of Corningware with cornflower blue design. Insides are white.
On another note, if you line a highly colored baking dish with aluminum foil, will this protect the food from cadmium and other toxins? I’m thinking about a set of Villeroy and Bosch casseroles from the 1980’s.
Hi there Laurel – here’s the concern discussed in a blog post:
The blue cornflower are often Lead-free (some years) although not always. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible for anyone to tell which year their cornflower pattern casseroles were made.
Marjorie Wolf says
What do I do with my old Pyrex bowls w ith lead.
Here’s a post you may want to read for some guidance on that Marjorie: