Red Waechtersbach Nesting Bowl purchased at Good Will (in 2020) for $1.99.
Made in Germany
To see more pieces by Waechtersbach that I have tested, click here.
When tested with an XRF instrument the bowl pictured here the following readings:
- Lead (Pb): 107,500 +/- 8,000 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): 20,600 +/- 1,500 ppm
- Barium (Ba): 107,900 +/- 7,700 ppm
- Selenium (Se): 1.832 +/- 264 ppm
- Bromine (Br): 521 +/- 142 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 60,300 +/- 4,400 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 2,457 +/- 490 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 9,149 +/- 1,637 ppm
- Chlorine (Cl): 5,281 +/- 1,830 ppm
To learn more about XRF testing, click here.
Why is this allowed?!
Modern newly manufactured dishware today is not regulated for total Lead and Cadmium content as detectable with an XRF instrument. Instead modern dishware is usually only regulated to meet leach testing standards at the time of manufacture (depending on the country of origin.)
My concern is for what happens to a highly Leaded piece as it deteriorates over time, especially pieces like this that are very high Lead and Cadmium, but also considered to be of “heirloom quality” and therefore may be handed down from generation to generation (and used even with decades of wear and deterioration.) To read more about my concern for lead in pottery and dishware, click here.
How much Lead & Cadmium is too much?
The only standard that one can compare these XRF test results to (comparing apples to apples) is the regulatory standard for Lead in items specifically designed and marketed as intended for use by children. The allowable limit for lead [as detectable with an XRF] in an item intended for use by children (including toys and dishware made expressly for use by children) is 90 ppm Lead in the glaze or coating or 100 ppm Lead in the substrate (the clay under the glaze.)
The allowable limit for Cadmium is 75 ppm by some regulatory standards (and as low as 40 ppm by some standards.) To reiterate, the Lead level in this particular red bowl is 107,500 ppm and the Cadmium level is 20,600 ppm (a known carcinogen!) Click here to read more about cadmium toxicity. While this bowl has likely been leach tested and is considered safe for use by adults at the time of manufacture, if this bowl were specifically intended for use by children it would be a violation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008.
Fun fact: Based on the research I have done, it is my understanding that if this bowl were sold in Denmark today- it would be considered just plain illegal because it is over 75 ppm Cadmium! Many European regulatory standards for the presence of toxicants are much stricter than U.S. standards – so it is very interesting that this bowl was made in Germany yet still tested positive for a very high level of cadmium. Cadmium is often found in glazes / paints/ coatings and substrates that are red, yellow or orange.
All products I have ever tested by this brand have been VERY HIGH in lead when tested with an XRF instrument. To see this brand on Amazon, click here.*
As always, thank you for reading and for sharing my posts. Please let me know if you have any questions.