Exact XRF Readings For This Dish
When tested with an XRF instrument, this Mikasa English Countryside (White DP900) China from 1993 (purchased at a Mikasa outlet store in the state of Maine, made in Malaysia) had the following readings [on the FOOD SURFACE of the plate!]:
- Lead (Pb): 26,200 +/- 600 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 1,228 +/- 80 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 976 +/- 175 ppm
- Vanadium (V): 78 +/- 27 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 183 +/- 43 ppm
- Zirconium (Zr): 1,868 +/- 66 ppm
Non-Detect for: Cadmium, Mercury, Barium, Chromium, Antimony and Selenium.
Is this reading accurate?
All readings on this website have been done for a minimum of 60 seconds per reading (unless otherwise stated), and are replicable, science-based and accurate. Tests are repeated multiple times to confirm the results. Testing is done with an XRF instrument specifically designed for testing for Lead in consumer goods (the same instrumentation used by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission for testing for heavy metals in consumer goods made for use by children.)
Is this a lot of Lead?
This is a lot of Lead – especially in light of the fact that modern dishes can be easily and inexpensively made with Lead-free substrates and glazes; there is no defensible reason for using one of the most potent neurotoxins known to man in the surface coating of a food-use product intended for every day use (3X a day – with every meal).
For context: the amount of Lead considered unsafe (and illegal) in items intended for use by children made today (2019) is anything 90 ppm Lead or higher in the paint, glaze or coating, and anything 100 ppm or higher in the substrate (the base clay of ceramic plates, for example).
Dishware is exempt from these regulatory standards, because (for some inexplicable reason), it is not considered to be “an item intended for use by children”, and therefore does not have any limit for total Lead content [as detectable with an XRF instrument]; this incredible lack of any regulatory limit for [XRF-detectable] Lead content applies to both vintage and new dishware.
Is Mikasa generally a problem?
In my decade-plus of experience testing consumer goods, most Mikasa of this vintage tests positive for very high levels of Lead. Given the amount of Lead, and the age of these dishes, I do not consider this china safe to eat off of. While they may have been leach-tested at the time of manufacture – and determined to be “safe” — i.e. fell within relevant regulatory standards (solely time-of-manufacture leach-testing) at that time, I have no confidence that they are not leaching now — after 20+ years of regular daily use (serving up 3 meals a day and years of being subjected to acids, bases, heat, detergents; service, mechanized and hand scrubbing, drying, stacking, and other surface abrasion, etc.).
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