Purple Waechtersbach Bowl from Williams Sonoma
Made in Germany, c. 2011
When tested with an XRF instrument this bowl had the following readings:
- Lead (Pb): 2,719 +/- 167 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): Non-Detect / Negative
- Mercury (Hg): Non-Detect / Negative
- Arsenic (As): Non-Detect / Negative
- Barium (Ba): 31,200 +/- 1,200 ppm
- Chromium (Cr): 952 +/- 348 ppm
- Antimony (Sb): Non-Detect / Negative
- Selenium (Se): Non-Detect / Negative
To learn more about XRF testing, click here.
Modern newly manufactured dishware today is not regulated for total lead content as detectable with an XRF instrument. Instead it is usually regulated to meet leach testing standards at the time of manufacture.
My concern is for what happens to a highly leaded piece as it deteriorates over time, especially pieces like this that are very high lead but also considered heirloom quality and are pieces that may be handed down from generation to generation (and may indeed become very well worn over time.)
To read more about my concern for lead in pottery and dishware, click here.
The only standard that one can compare these XRF test results to (comparing apples to apples) is the regulatory standard for lead in items specifically designed and marketed as intended for use by children.
The allowable limit for lead [as detectable with an XRF] in an item intended for use by children (including toys and dishware made expressly for use by children) is 90 ppm lead in the glaze or coating or 100 ppm lead in the substrate (the clay under the glaze.)
To reiterate, the lead level in this particular purple bowl is 2,719 ppm.
If this bowl were intended for use by children it would be a violation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008. However this particular item is not sold or marketed to be used by children, even though one could imagine that with the bright colors of this line that it is highly likely that it might be used by children on a regular basis! In fact I once visited a home where this brand of bowl was expressly used for feeding the children in that home – because of the bright colors!
Can you say #RegulatoryLoophole?
All products I have ever tested by this brand have been VERY HIGH in lead when tested with an XRF instrument.
For curiosity’s sake only (not to purchase them!) to see more pieces from this brand on Amazon, click here.*
As always, thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.
Please let me know if you have any questions.