March 19, 2023 — Sunday
If you are a fan, friend, or follower of the work of Lead Safe Mama, LLC you may have noticed our post earlier tonight when I shared full XRF test results for the “Denby Fine Stoneware” dish pictured above.
Several readers have asked about Denby products. Prior to this evening, I had not yet done any write-ups of products from this company here on the site, so I did not have a definitive answer as to whether or not they had Lead in their glazes (and if they did have Lead — how much).
Tonight we answered that question — with the dish above testing positive for Lead at levels as high as 10,800 ppm (10,800 parts per million is a LOT of Lead)! For context, and for those new here …
- There is no safe level of Lead exposure for humans
- Any products with Lead levels (in the paint, glaze, or coating) above 90 ppm that are manufactured today for use by children are considered illegal.
Here’s a link to tonight’s article with full test results for the dish pictured above.
As I was preparing the package to send the dish pictured above back to its owner, I reviewed our e-mail communication thread. I was then reminded that, in August 2022, she e-mailed me to share the statement (in the graphic below) she received from Denby when inquiring as to whether they use (or have ever used) Lead or any other toxic metals in their glazes. Continue reading below the image:
We now have clear and indisputable scientific confirmation that not only is Lead present in their glazes, but the Lead that is present is at a very high level — meaning it was obviously intentionally added as an ingredient of the glaze. Low levels, for example, could have meant that the Lead present might have been an inadvertent contaminant of a product or process. Now we know that Denby as a company is at best, grossly unaware and profoundly misinformed regarding the Lead content of their glazes, or at worst, deliberately lying through their teeth since the company is 100% okay with just confidently dispensing meaningless assurances to customers concerned over potential Lead exposure for their families when eating off Denby dishware.
There’s really not much else to say here about this — it’s just so disappointing that nearly every company responds in this way, and that the responsibility for making sure our families are safe must be assumed by we the consumers, ourselves (who cannot trust companies … pretty much not ever).
For those new to this website:
Tamara Rubin is a multiple-Federal-award-winning independent advocate and activist, and a documentary filmmaker. She is the owner and founder of Lead Safe Mama, LLC — a woman-owned small business for consumer goods safety and childhood Lead poisoning prevention. She is also a mother of Lead-poisoned children, the inspiration for her work (Tamara’s sons were acutely Lead-poisoned in August of 2005). She was trained and certified to use XRF technology in 2009 — specifically with a focus on testing consumer goods for toxicants.
- Tamara was the parent advocate responsible for finding Lead in the popular fidget spinner toys in 2017.
- In 2022 her work was also responsible for three CPSC product recalls — the Jumping Jumperoo recall (June 2022), the Lead painted NUK baby bottle recall (July 2022), and the Leaded Green Sprouts Insulated Stainless Steel Baby Bottles (November 2022).
- In 2023, her work was featured in Consumer Reports Magazine (link) and has already precipitated a product recall for one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things,” the Bindle Bottle insulated stainless steel water bottle.
- To see a summary of violation reports filed by Lead Safe Mama, LLC — as well as recent press coverage of our work — please click this link.
The XRF instrument Tamara uses is the same instrument (and same scientific method) used by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to test consumer goods for toxicants (specifically heavy metals), including Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Antimony, and Arsenic. All test results reported on this website (LeadSafeMama.com/TamaraRubin.com) are science-based, accurate, and replicable. Items are tested multiple times to confirm the test results for each component tested and reported on. Please click through this link to learn more about the testing methodology used for the test results discussed and reported on this website.
Phillip Bouton says
I found another stoneware plate from England by Johnson Bros that they call Ironstone and the plate line was called Snowwhite that was similarly high for lead with an XRF calibrated for lead paint. Year is unknown and was given to the family by a relative.
I have tested lots of both Johnson Brothers and Ironstone – they are consistently high in Lead. Here are some examples:
and here’s the Made in England category too:
The frustrating thing is that people think these dishes are higher quality (and infer that they are safe) because they are “fine china” or “Made in England.” #Sigh.
Thanks for commenting Phillip!
I bought some new Denby plates and bowls last year. You’re saying these have lead as well? If so, any suggestions on how to get a refund? This is disappointing because I paid a premium price for what I felt was a premium product.
Yes, that’s what I’m wondering, do the new ones have it as well?
I also want to know this! I have a Denby sugar bowl and some serving dishes bought in 2021. I likely wouldn’t buy from them in the future but I am curious how safe it is to use newer products that I already own.