I I found this gem during a home consultation with a family near Chicago earlier this year — and ! I had never before seen one of these Pyrex measuring cups with markings in this deep purple color [in the photos it looks a bit like it could be dark blue, but in person it’s definitely quite purple!]. It was purchased new sometime between 2006 and 2010. I was also super-surprised to see how high-Lead the paint was, as this isn’t really that old!
While I don’t know what year things changed (if someone could help me figure that out, that would be excellent!), the older design of the Pyrex logo is the one on this cup – pictured above (the purple writing), where the letters are sharp and blocky and spaced apart. The newer glass measuring cups made by Pyrex have the logo you can see in the image below – of the cup with red writing. On these newer ones the lettering is more rounded with the letters nested together. The ones with this newer design (below) tend to be Lead-free [but instead of Lead in the new paint formulation (on the red painted ones at least), they have replaced it with Cadmium (which is also toxic, and is known to cause cancer!) <sigh>
When tested with an XRF instrument, the Pyrex measuring cup pictured here had the following readings:
Test on the purple printed words on the outside of the glass:
- Lead (Pb): 20,700 +/- 500 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): 175 +/- 15 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 5,658 +/- 211 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 1,902 +/- 140 ppm
- Platinum (Pt): 276 +/- 116 ppm
- Cobalt (Co): 8,089 +/- 362 ppm
Test on the clear glass of the cup:
- Vanadium (V): 72 +/- 22 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 103 +/- 28 ppm
Test results reported on this blog are accurate, science-based, and replicable. Testing was done for a minimum of 60 seconds per component and repeated multiple times to confirm the results. Each set of results found was similar to the results sets noted above. Metals not detected by the XRF instrument (when used in “Consumer Goods” mode) are not listed. All metals detected by the instrument on each separate component tested are listed above.
*How much Lead is unsafe?
The paint on the outside of glass measuring cups is not regulated at all (for total Lead content)- as they are not manufactured or marketed as “items intended for use by children”. For context: the amount of Lead that is considered unsafe (and illegal) in an item that is expressly manufactured and sold as something to be used by children is anything 90 ppm Lead or higher in the paint, glaze or coating and anything 100 ppm Lead or higher in the substrate. Given this came in at over 20,000 ppm Lead in the exterior paint, it should be considered unsafe (and illegal) — if it was made today and expressly made “for use by children” [I say “should” because the CPSC apparent sees things differently — as they are still allowing high-Lead painted markings on baby bottles(!). – link!] Currently in the U.S., cookware/kitchenware is not regulated for Lead or Cadmium content — as it is not considered “items intended for use by children” and, as such, there are no limits for toxicants content in the paint, glaze or coating (as detectable with XRF technology.)
Some additional reading:
- To see more clear glass items I have tested, click here.
- To see more measuring cups I have tested, click here.
- To read my recommendations for safer measuring cup choices, click here.
- To see more Pyrex items I have tested, click here.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts!
Dyan Eisenberger says
Thymeless Hetbs pattern by Corelle
I just found this pattern and bought some because I love the high sides on the plates.
I do not see testing on this pattern, and do not know year it was made or where.
Thanks for any infouou may have.
This is mind boggling! Thanks for the info. Do I understand correctly that the metals are in the paint on the outside of the cup? So theoretically anything placed inside the cup would not be exposed to the metals, right? That is a key question (for me). Of course, there should not be ANY metals allowed on the outside!
This ^^^ is what I want to know, too.
The answer is in this post: https://tamararubin.com/2020/07/if-the-lead-is-only-on-the-outside-of-my-dish-measuring-cup-mixing-bowl-etc-why-does-it-matter-that-it-has-lead/
I had the same question.
I’m also wondering if there is a lead (& toxic metal) max you advise for adults. I have no children, but I want to test my stuff. Do I have to get rid of everything above 90ppm. I dont think I can afford to do that. Would you be willing to put together a cheat sheet of acceptable levels for adults & children that we can print as a reference. I agree zero is the goal, but a it would be helpful to have a guide as I test & decide what to get rid of ; Otherwise I’m going to get overwhelmed & go bonkers over everything. Lol. Thank you. I appreciate what you are doing.
TESTED PRODUCTS ARE SAFEST AT OR BTWEEN THESE LEVELS