Introduction (for those new to this website):
Tamara Rubin is an independent advocate for consumer goods safety. 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. Tamara uses XRF testing (a scientific method used by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) to test consumer goods for metallic toxicants, including Lead, Cadmium, Mercury and Arsenic.
When tested with an XRF instrument, this Greenbrier International white ceramic Royal Norfolk dinner plate [purchased at a Dollar Tree store in late-2018] had the following readings with a 60-second test:
On the food surface of the dish:
- Lead (Pb): 30 +/- 11 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 6,557 +/- 206 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 1,508 +/- 170 ppm
- Bismuth (Bi): 62+/- 13 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 171 +/- 38 ppm
- With a second test the Lead came in at 36 +/- 12 ppm.
- Note: the logo / back-mark on the dish had similar readings to the food surface of the dish.
How much Lead is “too much” Lead?
The amount of Lead that is considered unsafe and illegal in a modern / newly manufactured item made and sold for use by children today is anything 90 ppm Lead or higher in the paint / glaze or coating and anything 100 ppm Lead or higher in the substrate. While dishes are not covered by this regulatory standard [even though it is my opinion that they should be — because children also use dishes!], the low (trace) levels mean these dishes would be considered safe by all standards (including the standard for children’s items!)
Some additional reading:
- To read more about the concern for Lead in pottery and dishware, click here.
- To see more items from the Dollar Store that I have tested, click here.
- To see more plain white ceramic dishes I have tested, click here (many are high Lead!)
- To read more about the type of testing I do, click here.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.
This is interesting…..on a tight budget and need to replace my dishes due to your findings on Pionerr Woman dishes. I guess i have always steered away from anything made in China. If I can still find me that my Dollar Store it might be a start for me replacing what I have.
Lexi M. says
Thank you for your incredibly informative and useful site! I have only just “discovered” you.
REQUEST, PLEASE / #ASKTAMARA
I picked up a few attractive bowls from Dollarama recently, not even thinking I needed to consider the possibility of high lead content! I am wondering if it is possible to request a test be done for the made in China dishware/bowls by CASA MODERNA (500-ml/17o-oz.)
I feel sure they are popular with many people and would be used regularly. They are glazed and available in various colourful and tasteful decorative patterns which alternate on both exterior and interior surfaces. The bottoms are marked with two small dishwasher & microwave safe pictograms below the CasaModerna logo. The only indication of country of origin appears on the Dollarama serial number barcode/price sticker (23-3086210 / 67888-40926 / 3$CDN).
John D. Berry says
It is really great that you are doing that. Just want to say there are many more toxic ingrediants than only heavy metals.
Usually, if it’s found to be toxic 337 different chemicals/compounds, by California, you don’t want it ingest any of it by use. That’s a higher safety limit than the federal ones, sadly those federal limits for many things have been raised by the current administration.
I recently bought new Dishes at Dollar Tree they are the red ones, I got 4 saucers and 4 dinner plates and 4 white bowls with pinecone. The name on then is Royal Norfolk dinnerware international made in china
Depending on the colors of the decorative designs the designs could have Lead or Cadmium. They are likely “non-leaching” at the time of manufacture, but my concern is what happens over time.
Here’s a post that discusses that concern: https://tamararubin.com/topics/does-vintage-and-new-functional-pottery-and-dishware-have-unsafe-levels-of-lead/
Are those findings the same with the dishes that have the lemons on them from the same company sold at Dollar Tree???
Thank you so much for all the work you’re doing to keep us safe! I have the Norfolk mugs from Dollar Tree and hope they are also low in lead… I’ve done some hand painted designs on some of them as well as Cricut designs and hope they’re okay =) ~ Maria
Vicky Carmona says
Hi Tamara – thank you so much for all your hard work in helping all us moms make the best choices to keep our families safe! I appreciate that you’re testing the Royal Norfolk brand from the Dollar Tree because that’s all many of us can afford. I recently purchased Royal Norfolk dishes that are white with large blue flowers on them. I’m wondering if you’ve tested those yet or if you’re planning to? They seem to be quite popular as they’ve been in stock at Dollar Tree for the past 6 months.
Thanks again for all you do,
What lead home lead testing kits do you recommend?
Hi Diana – please realize that you cannot test most consumer goods at home with a test kit. The test kits are designed to test for Lead in house paint. That said – this is the best home kit for testing for Lead in house paint:
Please check out the “Lead Testing” tab in the header menu (at the top of every page of this website) for more information about Lead testing (testing toys, dishes, etc.)