For those new to this website:
Tamara Rubin is a multiple-federal-award-winning independent advocate for childhood Lead poisoning prevention and consumer goods safety, and a documentary filmmaker. She is also a mother of Lead-poisoned children (two of her sons were acutely Lead-poisoned in 2005). Since 2009, Tamara has been using XRF technology (a scientific method used by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) to test consumer goods for toxicants (specifically heavy metals — including Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Antimony, and Arsenic). All test results reported on this website are science-based, accurate, and replicable. Items are tested multiple times to confirm the test results for each component tested. Tamara’s work was featured in Consumer Reports Magazine in February of 2023 (March 2023 print edition).
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Published: May 20, 2022
Updated: April 2, 2023
“Why do you do this consumer goods testing?”
“Why can’t I do it at home?”
So – actually – that’s EXACTLY why I do it! Because you cannot do this yourself at home and I want YOU to have access to reliable science-based information to help you make informed choices, informed choices that will help you protect your family from exposure to toxicants (specifically heavy metals) in your home.
The home test kits – which are based on reactive-agent testing technology – are not reliable for testing consumer goods: that technology was designed for testing paint. Period.
- Since most people cannot afford an appropriate scientific instrument [I.e. one based on X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry Analysis] that costs between $35,000 and $50,000 new (with all of the software modules necessary for testing consumer goods installed) and then also cannot take the time and incur the additional expenses to register the instrument, and to take the training required to get certified to operate the instrument, I do this testing — so that YOU don’t HAVE to.
- I do this testing so that everyone can have reliable, independent SCIENCE–based (rather than industry-influenced/adulterated, and politically-compromised/filtered/”spin-doctored”), information available to you – for FREE – to help you make safer choices for your family.
There are currently over 3,500 pages, articles and posts with information here on the Lead Safe Mama, LLC website. This information is all freely available (not behind a paywall), and easily searchable (just watch the little video [link below] that shows you how to efficiently search the website!)
But I cannot find my item!
- If the exact product you are curious about [or for which you’d like to see test results] is not here on the website (yet!), you can most likely find something similar — along with a discussion of why (or why not) it is a likely good choice for your family.
- Start your search by checking out the menu for the website linked at the top of every page of the site – and also linked via the pink and white “Website Menu” button below. The Website Menu is a great place to begin exploring the categories of information here on LeadSafeMama.com / TamaraRubin.com!
- You can also put short / simple general keyword phrases into the search bar at the top of any page to begin your search – like “white china” or “blue glass” or “water bottle” or ‘baby food”.
- You can extrapolate (in most cases) if the same considerations apply to the product you are curious about – based on the brand or age, materials and color of the item tested – as they compare to the item about which you are curious.
One specific example:
- If you look up, say, Mikasa china (using the search bar at the top of any page of this website or by clicking the “Mikasa” button in the Website Menu) – but cannot find your EXACT pattern or style, you can likely extrapolate whether YOUR pattern likely has unsafe levels of Lead (or whether it is likely Lead-free or Lead-safe), by comparing the colors of the glaze, the style of the dish, the pattern of your dish, the age of your dish, etc. to the examples available here on the website.
- In the case of dishes specifically, a really good way to compare is to look at all of the BACK MARKINGS (the logo) for the dishes on the website (there are photos of the back and front of the dish in nearly every post), and see if there is one that is SIMILAR (font, colors, word-choice, time & place of manufacture, etc.) to the example you are curious about. IF the back markings are similar, then the Lead levels are likely to be very similar.
…to make this information FREELY AVAILABLE – to make the SCIENCE freely available – to the general public — because the home test kits one can buy are for testing house paint, and as such simply DO NOT WORK (are neither appropriate nor reliable) for testing most (nearly all) consumer goods. [Check out the links below for more info.]
IF you are still not satisfied (after searching this website) – in terms of your interest in knowing the exact test results for the specific item you own and use (often the case with heirlooms and vintage items), you can participate in the ongoing consumer goods testing & searchable datastore-building work of Lead Safe Mama, LLC by sending your item in for testing (and reporting on this website).
Some additional reading that may be of interest to you:
- Here’s the video that shows you how to efficiently search the website
- Here’s the article discussing using home test kits on dishes.
- Here’s the article discussing using home test kits for toys.
- Here’s the article discussing the types of items you *may* be able to test with a home test kit.
- Here’s the article discussing items that are better tested with an XRF Instrument or other scientific testing.
- Here’s the article that discusses the testing methodologies employed for the results reported on this website.
- Here’s the article discussing the problems in having a home inspector test consumer goods [when they don’t have the appropriate type of XRF instrument and software for this testing]