For those new to this website:
Tamara Rubin is a multiple-Federal-award-winning independent advocate for consumer goods safety and a documentary filmmaker. She is also a mother of Lead-poisoned children. Tamara’s sons were acutely Lead-poisoned in August of 2005. She began testing consumer goods for toxicants in 2009 and was the parent-advocate responsible for finding Lead in the popular fidget spinner toys in 2017. Tamara uses XRF testing (a scientific method used by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) to test consumer goods for toxicants (specifically heavy metals), including Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Antimony, and Arsenic. All test results reported on this website are science-based, accurate, and replicable. Items (and separate components) are each tested multiple times, to confirm the test results for each component tested and reported on. Please click through to this link to learn more about the testing methodology used for the test results discussed and reported on this website.
June 22, 2019
To see more Corelle pieces that have been tested by Lead Safe Mama, LLC – Click HERE. This article (below) includes full XRF test results for the vintage “Snowflake Blue” pattern Corelle plate pictured (exact year of manufacture unknown).
When tested with an XRF instrument the painted decorative border on the food surface of this particular vintage Corelle plate was positive for a very high level of Lead. To see the full XRF readings for this exact plate, scroll down. Note: I don’t know the exact year of manufacture of this piece as this piece was purchased second hand at Good Will. If you have information about the year of manufacture (or year-range) for this pattern, please comment here on this post. To learn more about XRF testing, Click HERE.
Some context for the concern for Lead in dishware
- All United States federal agencies (including EPA, CDC, HUD, USDA & FDA) agree with the scientifically established fact that there is no safe level of Lead exposure for humans.
- Consistent with the science supporting the issue and as a mother of Lead-poisoned children (children who have significant long-term health issues as a result of being exposed to Lead as babies/ toddlers) I have taken the stand that there is no place for any amount of Lead on our dining tables. None at all.
- Given the potential risks involved, If parents knew their dishes might have Lead in the surface paint or glaze they would (of course) choose a Lead-free alternative.
- I have made it my mission to help inform parents of consumer goods that may be high in Lead (or other toxic heavy metals) so they can make safer (scientifically informed) choices for their families.
It literally just takes a microscopic amount of Lead to poison a child (or any human for that matter) and, as of the moment of publishing this post, there is NO ONE (no individual, company, educational institution or other agency) specifically studying the potential impact that eating off of Leaded vintage dishware has on the users (because no corporation stands to benefit financially from such a study). [There have, however been several tangentially relevant studies demonstrating potential health risks of Lead painted glassware – here’s a link to one such study from England in 2017.]
In addition to the facts that there is no safe level of Lead exposure / that it takes just a microscopic amount of Lead to poison a human – the impact of Lead on our bodies and our health is cumulative. What this means is that the more Lead we are exposed to, the greater the potential for long-term negative health impacts (you can read more about the symptoms of Lead exposure on this link.) Consequently, as consumers we need to err on the side of prudence, and proactively remove all potential sources of Lead exposure from our homes ourselves.
Since Lead exposure pathways include ingestion and inhalation – a logical first / best place to start the process of removing Lead from our homes is to start in our kitchens – with a reasonable first step being to make sure that the dishes that we eat off of every day with our families are Lead-free.
These particular Corelle-brand dishes tested positive for 7,823 ppm Lead in the blue decorated markings on the food surface of the dish.
For context to better understand what this level of Lead means; the amount of XRF detectable Lead that is considered toxic in a newly manufactured item “intended for use by children” is anything 90 ppm Lead or higher in the paint, glaze or coating or an item and anything 100 ppm Lead or higher in the substrate. As a result, were this dish manufactured today – regulators would not (in theory) consider this to be safe for children to use.
HOWEVER – dishes (modern or vintage) are (inexplicably) not considered to be items “intended for use by children”, and thus are not regulated for total lead content (as detectable with an XRF) in the same way as toys and other similar children’s items (unless they are dishes expressly marketed and sold as “baby dishes” – manufactured expressly for use by children after 2010.]
Some additional reading / links that may be of interest
- To read more about the concern for XRF-detectable Lead in dishware, Click HERE.
- What should I do with my dishes if they test positive for Lead? Click HERE.
- For a pretty Lead-free & Cadmium-free option for dishes, Click HERE.*
Reading #1) Decorative Edge / Food Surface (image above):
- Lead (Pb): 7,823 +/- 141 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): 69 +/- 7 ppm
- Tin (Sn): 111 +/- 13 ppm
- Chromium (Cr): 889 +/- 88 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 42 +/- 14 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 98 +/- 28 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 492 +/- 100 ppm
- Vanadium (V): 105 +/- 27 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 231 +/- 42 ppm
- Indium (In): 19 +/- 8 ppm
- Zirconium (Zr): 1,899 +/- 42 ppm
- Platinum (Pt): 154 +/- 51 ppm
- Cobalt (Co): 1,743 +/- 111 ppm
- No other metals detected in consumer goods mode.
Reading #2) Plain White Center of Plate / Food Surface:
- Lead (Pb): non-detect
- Cadmium (Cd): non-detect
- Arsenic (As): non-detect
- Mercury (Hg): non-detect
- Antimony (Sb): non-detect
- Tin (Sn): 99 +/- 14 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 383 +/- 120 ppm
- Vanadium (V): 81 +/- 25 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 112 +/- 32 ppm
- No other metals detected in consumer goods mode.
All tests reported on this website were done for at least 60 seconds each (unless otherwise noted), using an XRF instrument. The XRF instrument used in the testing is a Niton XL3T, a scientific instrument specifically designed and intended expressly for testing consumer goods for Lead and other metals. The results are science-based, replicable and accurate.
Safer Choices for Dishware
The good news is that Lead-free dishes are both inexpensive and readily available / easily found today. The links below include some some specific guidelines and information about brands that may be Lead-safe (below 90 ppm Lead) or Lead-free (when tested with an XRF Instrument), but please let the information on these links serve only as a guide for what you might choose (you can often find the same recommended brands available for less at Target and Walmart, just follow the guidelines and stick with the specific recommendations in the links below.
- This page has links to only Lead-free choices for dishes.
- This page has a discussion of different popular brands and whether or not they are likely to be Lead-free.
- This link takes you to a section of this website where you can look up your dishes by brand or pattern (you can also use the search bar on any page of the site to enter keywords at any time.)
- This article discusses brands that consistently sell and / or manufacture high Lead dishware (specifically stores and brands that you may want to avoid.)
- This post has a video that shows you how to efficiently search this website (which currently has over 3,300 post and pages). The video highlights all the ways you can find Lead-free things here on the website!
To learn more about the concern for Cadmium (Cd) – a known carcinogen – in consumer goods (including dishware), Click HERE. XRF detectable Cadmium is considered toxic at levels as low as 40 ppm (and up.)
As always, please let me know if you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them personally – although with 1,000,000 + readers here on this website each year it may take a while! Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts!