To see more Wedgwood pieces we have tested, click here. Their products are notoriously high in Lead in the surface glaze (the vintage products, post-20 years old especially!)
Published: Sunday – July 3, 2022
Given all federal agencies agree that there is no safe level of Lead exposure for humans, and also given that in 2008 the Consumer Product Safety Commission set the level of 90 ppm Lead as being the limit for allowable Lead in the paint, glaze or coating of an item intended for use by children – I would not personally be comfortable eating off of these dishes (and certainly would never let any child use one of these).
They may have been “safe” (determined by independent testing at the time of manufacture to be non-leaching for Lead) on the day they left the factory (although given these dishes are very old and the date of manufacture is unknown it is also possible they were made before any regulatory standards were put in place), but there is no guarantee that over time, with age and use, they have not/will not become unsafe. This is especially possible if the item is used with with heated foods — or acidic foods, such as tomato-based sauces, vinegars, or lemon juice, for example.
Now that we know for certain (using XRF testing) that there is a very high level of Lead in the glaze of this plate (see specific readings below), it is far simpler and less expensive to buy new dishes than it would be to send a dish like this to a lab to do leach-testing to confirm how much of the Lead (if any) might be leaching from the dish at this time (and under what conditions)… so many years after they were manufactured! Consequently – in adopting a #KnowBetterDoBetter philosophy and a guiding principle of not allowing any Lead in your kitchen (a great first step in making a safer home for yourself and your family) – I would recommend purchasing new dishes if you own these (and not using these for food use purposes at all.) You can read more about these concerns specifically in this article – link.
Please note: While I do try to be conservative in my language (given we don’t know for sure if a particular dish will be leaching Lead) with the level of Lead in this dish combined with the age of the particular dish it is more likely than not that this dish is leaching unsafe levels of Lead when used with hot and acidic foods (and possibly also when used with non-acidic and cold foods.) I would never consider an antique / vintage dish with this level of Lead in the glaze on the food surface safe for use with food.
Below are the full test results for the dish pictured.
Center of the food surface of the plate
- Lead (Pb): 55,300 +/- 1,300 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): non-detect
- Tin (Sn): non-detect
- Mercury (Hg): non-detect
- Selenium (Se): non-detect
- Barium (Ba): 664 +/- 63 ppm
- Chromium (Cr): non-detect
- Antimony (Sb): non-detect
- Copper (Cu): non-detect
- Zinc (Zn): 2,137 +/- 88 ppm
- Manganese (Mn): non-detect
- Zirconium (Zr): non-detect
- Indium (In): non-detect
- Iron (Fe): 716 +/- 133 ppm
- Bismuth (Bi): non-detect
- No other metals detected in consumer goods mode.
For those new to this website:
Tamara Rubin is a multiple-Federal-award-winning independent advocate for consumer goods safety and a documentary filmmaker. She is also a mother of Lead-poisoned children. Tamara’s sons were acutely Lead-poisoned in August of 2005. 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 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 (and separate components) are each tested multiple times, to confirm the test results for each component tested and reported on. Please click through to this link to learn more about the testing methodology used for the test results discussed and reported on this website.