To learn more about XRF testing, Click HERE.
Please do take a moment to read the exact XRF test results for this item (below), so you can see what is in it (as well as a bit of a list of what is not in it!)
To see more Crate & Barrel items I have tested, Click HERE.
While this dish is 10-20 years old [I will be confirming the date range of purchase from it’s owner shortly], brand new 2018/2019 Crate & Barrel items tend to be lower-Lead or even (sometimes) Lead-free.
This high Lead plate from Crate & Barrel is not a unique find however. I have found at least DOZENS of their older designs to test positive for high levels of Lead using XRF technology.
Given Crate & Barrel’s historic use (in long ago and even in fairly recent history) of high levels of XRF-detectable Lead in glazes of many of their ceramic food-use products (with no disclosures of this fact and no subsequent recalls of older products that may not now pass current leach testing requirements) I don’t like this company. I will never recommend their products.
Even though Crate & Barrel is doing “better” they are not yet consistently Lead-free across all products – although they do have some good examples in their newest versions of plain white / undecorated options made.
Below are the XRF Test results for the plate pictured in this post.
(Tests are done in “Consumer Goods” mode for a full minute each, unless otherwise noted.)
Floral Design / Food Surface of Plate
- Lead (Pb): 80,300 +/- 2,900 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): 444 +/- 42 ppm
- Barium (Ba): 252 +/- 199 ppm
- Mercury (Hg): Negative/ Non-Detect
- Chromium (Cr): Negative/ Non-Detect
- Antimony (Sb): Negative/ Non-Detect
- Selenium (Se): Negative/ Non-Detect
- Arsenic (As): Negative/ Non-Detect
The Concern With Cadmium:
- While (to my knowledge) no one has studied the specific impacts of whether or not daily use of a set of Cadmium-laden dishes will impact your health, Cadmium is a known carcinogen – and is illegal at total-content levels (as detectable with an XRF) of 40 ppm and above in Washington State, and at total-content levels of 75 ppm and above in the country of Denmark.
- There is currently no blanket U.S. (Federal) or European standard for total Cadmium content (as distinct from “leachable” / “extractable” Cadmium – which is a very different measurement), other than those Washington State and Danish standards.
- In my opinion we should not allow any Cadmium in any dishware, especially on the food use surfaces and especially in ceramic glazes (which readily wear and deteriorate with use.)
Important Points to Understand and Consider about Lead in Dishware:
- No one has yet studied the potential long-term negative health impacts that may or may not be caused by eating daily (or periodically) from a set of Lead-laden dishes (dishes that test positive for high levels of Lead using XRF technology specifically – regardless of whether or not they may have complied with leach testing standards at the time of manufacture).
- Total Lead content (as detectable with an XRF instrument) in dishware is not currently regulated. Said another way: There are no limits to how much XRF detectable Lead is allowed in the glaze of new and modern dishware (with one exception.*)
- The only current relevant regulation for dishes is leach testing, which is only done on new modern dishware at the time of manufacture.
- Leach testing done at the time of manufacture does not reflect what might happen to a high Lead glaze with regular (normal) repeated daily use over time.
- Leach testing is a relatively new regulatory concept (in the past 50 years) and was not required (or regularly policed or enforced) when most vintage or antique dishes were manufactured.
- For context (and a regulation that SHOULD be relevant for dishware, but is not)… in newly-manufactured items “intended for use by children”, 90 ppm Lead (and up) in the glaze, paint or coating is illegal.
- Dishes are not considered to be “items intended for use by children” and as such are not currently regulated for total Lead content (as detectable with an XRF instrument) in the way children’s items are regulated.*
- *The only exception to this is dishes that are specifically sold as baby dishes or toddler dishes.
- Dishes are used by people of all ages (including young children, pregnant women, medically fragile people and the elderly) and should be regulated for toxicants in the same way (and with the same limits) as toys and other items intended for use by children.
- There should be no acceptable/allowable amount of Cadmium, Lead, Mercury, Antimony or Arsenic (or other known toxicants – especially those known to be human carcinogens) in any items intended for food use purposes.
- Regulatory measures should be put in place warning consumers of potential high levels of toxicants often found in vintage items offered for resale (especially vintage kitchenware, tableware and dishware.)
As always, thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.
Please let me know if you have any questions.