Introduction: Tamara Rubin (aka Lead Safe Mama) is a multi-award winning independent advocate for consumer goods safety and she is also a mother of Lead-poisoned children. 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. Her work went viral (again) in 2019 with her discovery of Lead (and Mercury, Arsenic and Cadmium) in vintage Tupperware. She uses XRF testing (a scientific method used by the Consumer Product Safety Commission) to test consumer goods for contaminants including Lead, Cadmium, Mercury and Arsenic.
On September 23, 2019 Amazon started promoting Jennifer Lawrence’s Wedding Registry Guide and the “story” about this was even picked up by several national news outlets(!). Of course, my immediate reaction was “hmmm – how much Lead is she peddling there?” (and “I bet she has no idea she is possibly helping Amazon sell potentially toxic and unsafe products“!)
Each of the items listed in Jennifer Lawrence’s Amazon Wedding Registry Guide are shown below, along with a commentary noting my educated guess / professional opinion – based on my experience testing consumer goods – as to whether or not the item might test positive for Lead (when tested with an XRF instrument in “Consumer Goods” mode). To learn more about the consumer goods testing I do, click here.
Jennifer Lawrence, if you are reading this: #KnowBetterDoBetter. Most young people your age have no idea about Lead toxicity concerns in consumer goods (nor about the prevalence of Lead in so many everyday things!) The first time most of us learn about this (and start exploring this topic) is unfortunately only AFTER our babies are poisoned. With this work my readers and I are trying to raise awareness so your baby (and Amy’s baby – and all of your friends babies!) are not exposed in the ways ours were.
Thank you for taking the time to read this (rather long!) post! & Jennifer, if you would like me to come over to your place for a home visit, I’d love to! Check out my October (Lead Poisoning Prevention Month) travel schedule here on the blog, I’m headed both to NY and CA next month (& I’m sure I could find some time to fit you in to my very busy October schedule! 😉 )
*Amazon links are affiliate links — if you purchase something after clicking on one of my links, I may receive a small percentage of what you spend at no extra cost to you. NOTE: When I link to an item on Amazon from a post like this one, my link does not constitute a “recommendation” for that product; I am providing the Amazon link to you so that you can see the item “in the wild” (and – in the case of this post specifically – so you can read the advertising language for each of the items, as it relates to the presence or absence of toxicity concerns).
Below are each of the items from Jennifer Lawrence’s Amazon Wedding Registry Guide, linked to their Amazon page, using my affiliate links. Continue reading for my predictions (educated guesses) about whether or not they are likely to have Lead (or be Lead-free)! I have not yet tested each of these items but am using what I have learned in more than a decade of experience testing consumer goods – combined with the specific language in each of the Amazon ads for each of these items – to make these predictions.
Red text = probably (or definitely) Leaded.
Orange text = possibly Leaded.
- Martini Glasses by Riedel: Sheesh. The ad says these are Leaded crystal, which means they are likely between 300,000 and 500,000 ppm Lead. At this point in time, no one should ever use Leaded crystal…ever! It has been scientifically confirmed to leach Lead into the beverages contained within. Here’s a quote from the Amazon ad: “Riedel delivers top-notch quality in gorgeous lead crystal, with classic style.” Click here to learn more about Leaded crystal.
- Champagne Saucers by LSA International: The Amazon ad for these says they are “made out of glass” and “Individually handmade and mouth blown, these LSA International glasses” – as a result of those statements I would imagine these glasses are likely to be Lead-free. However – point to note, MOST hand-blown glass goblets (and other hand-blown glass items I have tested) have had very high levels of Antimony (in the 6,000 – 10,000 ppm range) and Antimony is a known carcinogen. I have recently started recommending that people avoid hand-blown glass items that are intended for food-use purposes (especially uses with high-acid foods and beverages – like alcohol.)
- Mixing set by Crafthouse by Fortessa: Noted on the Amazon ad as being made of Lead-free crystal – so, likely a true claim. I do have concerns about the white bands around them. It is hard to tell from the image if they are etched, carved or painted. If they are painted they are most likely painted with Lead paint. If they are etched or carved they are most likely Lead-free.
- Tumbler by Nachtmann Highland: Looks likely Leaded to me, but a comment from the manufacturer in the bottom of the Amazon ad (in the Q & A section) says that this Nachtmann line of glassware (by Riedel) is Lead-free. However, it also says that it is “Fine Bavarian Crystal” – which usually means something is Leaded! I would want to test it before confirming either way (because, if you have been following my blog – you are well aware, companies often claim their products are Lead-free when they are not.)
- Wine carafe by Sagaform: The Amazon ad for this item states that it is both “Lead-free” and “Mouthblown glass”. As a result it is likely Lead-free, (but probably has a high level of Antimony – which is a known carcinogen – see note with the Champagne Saucers above.)
- Copper fondue set by Swissmar: May be Lead-free. May have Leaded join points in the copper (like Moscow Mule Mugs), Should be avoided if there are any yellow brass components (although it does not look like there are based on the images in the Amazon ad.)
- Marble cheese slicer by Fox Run: No concern for Lead – unless there are brass components (which there do not appear to, be based on the images.)
- Marble/teak serving board by Anolon: No concern for Lead – unless there are brass components (which there do not appear to be from the images.)
- Recipe book: The New Cocktail Hour – No concern for Lead – new books are generally Lead-free [unlike your grandmother’s cookbooks – which may have high levels of Lead (especially in the hardcovers) and are better off scanned and used in digital form!]
- Wine glasses by Riedel: These glasses are noted in the Amazon ad page for the product as being made of “Lead-free crystal”. I have tested modern inexpensive Riedel wine glasses (also available at Target, usually for less than you can find on Amazon) and confirmed them to, in fact, be Lead-free.
- Tray by Now House by Jonathan Adler: educated guess is Lead-Free – although I have never tested an item from this company so have no way to know for certain without testing. In general, modern lacquered wood items are negative for Lead.
- Garden planters by La Jolie Muse: Most glazed ceramic planters have Lead — as they are not regulated at all for total Lead-content. I always recommend using unglazed terra-cotta (which is more likely to be Lead-free) for growing any food items in containers (like spices, carrots, etc.) These items, however are NOT ceramic (it turns out) but are resin with a “ceramic look“. I have tested hundreds of resin items in my work and only once have I ever found a resin item to be painted with Lead paint (and it was a golden Buddha painted with Lead paint over what was otherwise a Lead-free substrate.) As a result I would guess these planters are Lead-free.
- Pizza stone by Weber: Most pizza stones I have tested have been positive for trace (low) levels of Lead (usually in the “Lead-safe” range — under 90 ppm).
- Copper fire pit by CobraCo: This item could have Leaded solder points (like the Moscow Mule Mugs), or black Leaded paint on the black metal elements (modern black metal consumer goods for yard and garden are not regulated for Lead, and are often painted with black Lead paint as a (toxic!) way to “preserve” the metal (prevent it from rusting). A prime example of this is the faux “wrought iron” [in reality, often just black painted aluminum] railings on stairs. That said, it looks from the image like this fire pit is not painted – and therefore might be Lead-free (educated guess, without a closer inspection and more information.)
- String lights by Globe: These are most likely Lead-free – if it is a battery operated light string (and possibly positive for Lead if it is a plug-in light string). In either case, it will likely have Antimony at unsafe levels (Antimony is a known carcinogen, which is often found in electrical cords – as it is used as a fire retardant.) I always recommend washing hands well after hanging up any string lights (or avoiding direct contact by using gloves, if possible.)
- Tundra cooler by Yeti: educated guess – likely Lead-free.
- Bistro set by Novogratz: educated guess – could be painted with Lead paint, would need to be tested to confirm. There was a recall recently for Lead paint on a similar patio set – from another manufacturer – and these things are not well-regulated, nor closely monitored.
- Paperwhite by Kindle: educated guess – likely Lead-free in all accessible components.
- Cosmetic case by Pendleton: It’s hard to tell what the hardware on the top is made of; it could be Leaded brass, or it could be Lead-free. I will see if I can pop in to the Pendleton outlet store near my house and get some more information about that!
- Hero 7 camera by GoPro: educated guess – likely Lead-free in all accessible components.
- 4-in-1 adapter by Flight 001: educated guess – likely Lead-free in all accessible components.
- AirPods by Apple: educated guess – Lead-free.
- Cashmere travel set by Jet & Bo: educated guess – Lead-free (may have low levels of Antimony.)
- Atlas pasta machine by Marcato: educated guess – Lead-free UNLESS it has any brass components — in which case it could be very high Lead (hard to tell from the photos). I have tested many pasta machines (including newer ones) that had either Lead-painted metal components (like handles) or high-Lead brass components. I would not personally buy one of these machines in the absence of testing.
- Dutch oven by Le Crueset: This company has a long history of flagrantly making food-use products with high levels of Lead (a potent neurotoxin) and Cadmium (a known carcinogen) – without ever issuing any recalls or warnings (and actually derisively defending their practices/scoffing at consumers’ calls for doing so – even arrogantly dismissing concerns voiced by longtime customers). I would never buy anything from this company – even though their new “neutral” color products (white and tan) have tested negative (or within safe range) for toxicants like Lead and Cadmium. [The particular piece pictured here / chosen by Jennifer or her assistant is likely to be Lead-free or low-Lead.] If you have vintage Le Crueset, I would definitely consider calling the company and asking for a modern replacement product made without Lead and Cadmium. [They have actually quietly started replacing older products for customers, upon request, without question.]
- Food processor by Black + Decker: educated guess – probably Lead-free in all accessible components.
- Cutting board by Jon Boos: educated guess – probably Lead-free, although I would like to see if that logo on the side is painted on or carved in – and if it is painted I would definitely want to test it.
- Chef’s knife by Shun’s: I have never tested a modern knife that was Leaded, so I will go with “likely unleaded” as my educated guess on this one, although I would want to test the handle and the logo marking on the blade to confirm that guess.
- Cookbook: Joy of Cooking – unleaded for sure… great book BTW — “must-have” for every home!
- Multi cooker by Ninja: Likely has Leaded components (like the heating element) and Antimony in the cord. I would expect this appliance to test similarly to the Instant Pot – which does have some Lead (in the heating element).
- Marble rolling pin by Fox Run: educated guess – unleaded, I have almost this exact rolling pin in my home.
- Rectangular baker by Emile Henry: Oh – I have an Emile Henry story; I will write it up sometime! However, for now let’s just say I expect this will test positive for at least low levels of Lead [some Emile Henry pieces I have tested have tested for much higher levels of Lead (over 1000 ppm), — and those were marked “Lead-Free” on the bottom!].
- Espresso maker by Alessi: I haven’t tested this, so I don’t have a guess – but if I were to test it I would look for any possible Lead-painted markings and any possible brass components (which can be 30,000 to 50,000 ppm Lead!). If it has neither of those elements, it is likely Lead-free. Most espresso makers I have tested have had at least one component that was questionable.
- Kitchen cart by Zinus: I haven’t tested anything from this brand, so I can’t say for sure – but I would guess that it is unleaded — with the possible exception being some of the hardware / components of the wheels.
- Aroma diffuser by Homesick: I would almost wager that it definitely has at least one high-Lead component (as has been the case with nearly all of the other diffusers I have tested!)
- Weighted blanket by Gravity: unknown, haven’t tested. Most likely does not have Lead (depends on what it is weighted with!) — but likely has Antimony at low levels (100 to 300 ppm range) in the fabric [fire retardant treatment].
- Cork Yoga Mat by Galam: educated guess – unleaded.
- Turkish bath towel by Cacala: educated guess – unleaded.
- Tea Kettle by Fellow: no idea — would have to test (I have never seen this item.) If it is enamel it could have Lead, Cadmium or other heavy metals. As a rule, I recommend avoiding all cookware that has any kind of enamel or decorative coating (like the black coating on this tea kettle).
- Candle holders by LampLust: educated guess – likely highly Leaded, likely also to have Antimony. I tested some that looked very similar to these earlier this year (different brand) and they were positive for a very high level of Lead!
- Handblown glasses and carafe by Prologue: educated guess – probably unleaded in all accessible components, but likely positive for a high level of Antimony.
- Wood salad bowl by Dansk: educated guess – unleaded. I have never tested a modern bowl like this that was positive for Lead. That said, vintage bowls with natural finishes may test positive for Lead at unsafe levels.
- Cotton napkins by DII: educated guess – definitely unleaded.
- Flatware by Mepra: educated guess – likely unleaded (I tested some very similar looking “golden” flatware at the GOOP store and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was Lead-free.)
- Dinner plates by Fortessa: educated guess – likely positive for at least low levels of Lead (50 to 300 ppm range.) I splurged and ordered a set of the small plates in this exact color ($32.00) just so I could test and confirm (because I have never tested anything from this brand); I will report results back here as soon as I have them! Sadly, it is super-rare for ceramic dishes to be negative for Lead – although it does happen every now and then! [Click this link to see the guaranteed-to-be-Lead-free-dishes I use every day in my home.] UPDATE: I tested these dishes and reported the results here – link.
- Robot mop by iRobot: educated guess – probably unleaded in all accessible components.
- WiFi extender by Netgear: educated guess – probably unleaded in all accessible components.
- Speaker by Marshall: educated guess – probably unleaded in all accessible components UNLESS the brass accents are made of high-Lead brass, which is hard to tell from the image on the Amazon ad. [Interesting tidbit: while many of the plastic or rubberized handles of vintage guitar amps (Marshall is a manufacturer of legendary guitar amps) have often tested positive for very high levels of Lead, the modern ones I have tested so far have tested negative!]
- Chefsteps Joule Sous Vide: educated guess – probably unleaded in all accessible components.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts!