Why I’m doing this:
…Because you asked!
I am doing this in an effort to expand the database of free information here on this site. Each and every day I get hundreds of communications (via e-mail, facebook messages, text messages and other places [that I check less frequently] – like Instagram and Twitter!) and many of those are requests for answers about whether or not a certain dish pattern is potentially positive for Lead or Cadmium.
…Because I will have some time in August!
I am also doing this because August is a notoriously slow month (in my life and in my work!) It’s a great time for catch-up projects and getting ahead a bit if I can. As a result, if I collect a bunch of new dish patterns to test and report on in August, I will be able to expand the content on this website significantly in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas – which is typically when I get slammed with the MOST questions about dishes.
Why are you only doing dishes?
Dishes are relatively easy to test and report on. If it turns out there is Lead on the food surface at a high level, it doesn’t require a bunch of laborious & time-consuming testing of any other additional components. If there is Lead at a low level, I may test and report on several of the areas of the dish (to make sure all the colors are low), but generally a dish is much easier for me to test efficiently than any items with many complicated parts, different substrates and lots of different colors.
Dishes are also in all of our homes, and are what people mostly come to my site looking for information about. In participating in this little initiative, YOU will be helping me get a lot of information out quickly — information I will be able to provide for free (not behind a paywall) on my blog for everyone who is looking for it.
Here’s how to participate:
- Check my blog for your dish pattern. Use key words for the brand (like “Lenox” or “Fiesta” or “Franciscan”) and / or keywords for the pattern (like “wild rose” or “apple” or “blue willow.) You can also look through this post – or this post to see if your dishes are listed.
- If you don’t see your pattern / brand on the blog (or you don’t see one of your pattern / brand from the same era that yours is from — because yours is much older or much newer than the one posted on my site), you qualify to participate in this opportunity! Remember: Dishes don’t have to be vintage to have high levels of Lead!
- Chip-in $25 via PayPal using this link (before Sunday 7/28/2019 at 12 midnight Pacific Time.) You could also send $ by Venmo to TamaraERubin (just make sure to send me an e-mail to let me know you sent it!) or by Zelle to 503-702-2708.
- Choose a single small dish or saucer from the pattern you want tested, and take a photo of the back and the front of the dish. (A salad or desert plate is perfect, but a saucer usually works too.)
- E-mail me (at TamaraRubin at Mac dot com) with your NAME, City and State, and a picture of the dish you will be sending. VERY IMPORTANT: put “Christmas In July 2019” in the subject line.
- Pack the dish VERY WELL so it does not break in shipping. Include in the package a note with your NAME, ADDRESS, EMAIL, PHONE NUMBER and anything else you would like to share. Ideally it would be excellent if you could include the year that you received or bought the set (the likely year that it was manufactured – at least within a year or two.) Most people remember this because, it coincides with their wedding date, or similar important date when they got the dishes!
- MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE THE NOTE MENTIONED ABOVE (you would be surprised by the number of packages I get with no identifying information!)
- Ship the dish to me no later than AUGUST 15th (so that I receive it no later than August 22nd.) This will help to ensure it is tested quickly. [If it arrives after September 1st, it may take a while for me to test and post the results!]
Lead Safe Mama, LLC
7933 SE 15th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97202
After I have completed the testing you will have TWO OPTIONS:
- I can send it back to you. You will need to cover return postage for that if you choose to have me send it back… OR
- If a dish turns out to be positive for a high level of Lead – and you are not going to keep them anyway – and you would like me to add it to my “Museum of Lead” collection (which, if my plans come to fruition, will eventually actually be a touring art/science exhibit showing toxic household goods!), you can let me know that you would like me to keep it.
For the critics and naysayers:
PLEASE NO! This is not some attempt for me to get a hoard of mismatched Leaded dishes to keep for myself for some nefarious purpose! The purpose of this opportunity is (as noted above) to educate the owner of the set about the potential toxic implications of their dishes, and also to make that specific brand/model information publicly accessible, so the information can benefit hundreds, or thousands or (as in the case of the toxic Tupperware I discovered) potentially millions of people.
With your $25 contribution you are not really “paying for a service” [to have your dishes tested in a lab would actually potentially costs hundreds of dollars]; you are participating in a (significantly subsidized) advocacy opportunity, by providing the thing to be tested and contributing something into the pool towards helping to cover the cost of the testing — testing that will generate information with implications far beyond your own family. In summary: You help me help you and together we end up helping a lot of other people too!
All testing (that is reported on this blog) is done with a Niton XRF instrument (an XL3T – a highly specialized scientific testing instrument specifically designed for testing for Lead and other metals in consumer goods.) Each reported set of test results will reflect testing done for a minimum of 60 seconds and repeated multiple times to confirm the test results. The blog post for your dish will have one full test result set with a list of every single metal detected by the XRF instrument in “Consumer Goods” mode. The testing done is NOT leach testing, but is precise and accurate XRF testing for metallic content; the testing is non-destructive. To learn more about the testing I do, click here.
Thank you for supporting this advocacy work in this way.
Please let me know if you have any questions.