Lead Poisoning and Ceramic Glazed Dishes

October 10, 2008 · Print This Article

Lead poisoning and ceramic glazed dishes remain a concern.  Since I received several comments on my post, Lead Poisoning and Crock Pots, I thought I would tackle the subject of Lead Poisoning again.

The holidays are approaching and cute holiday dishes will be everywhere.  Which dishes can you use with food and which are just to be used as decoration?  The best thing to do is watch the labels.  Many holiday type dishes will state whether you can serve food in them or not.  If a sticker states…”Not Food Safe”, I would not purchase the product for food use… but only as a decoration.

For many years I designed products for the craft and gift markets.  This Christmas bowl was manufactured in China.  With the label stating, “Not for Use in Microwave and Handwash” it’s a pretty good guess that this product contains lead in the glaze… and I designed this bowl.  Whoooh!  Who do you trust?  Since I can’t part with the bowl, I use if for chips and popcorn.  I don’t put anything hot in it.

I paid a pretty good price for this bowl.  With the stamp,  “Oven Safe – Freezer – Microwave – Dishwasher”, printed on the bottom, it’s a pretty safe bet the bowl does not contain lead.

I would be a bit skeptical of the dishes brought in from China that are sold in $1.00 discount stores.  They are cheap for a reason.  Lead glazes are inexpensive to make.  I know… I was a ceramic student while getting my art degree.

Several years ago, I purchased some darling antique bowls.  They are so old, the glazed has cracked giving the bowls a fun “vintage” look.  After doing a bit of reading… these cute little bowls should never be used to served food.  The fact they’re old and cracked, they most likely contain lead and will seep lead by way of the cracks.  No sense in poisoning the family.   Hmmm… On the other hand… who can I invite to dinner?

So, the old ceramic dishes given to you by grandma should not be use to serve food but used as a decoration. We have only been aware of the dangers of ceramic glazes containing lead in the last few years.

Putting hot foods in lead based ceramic glazed dishes is the rub.  It is also suggested that you don’t store food in the fridge in ceramic glazed dishes either.  Glass is probably the best.  However, I don’t think a one time shot of putting taco chips in a ceramic bowl is going to create a lead poisoning problem.

If you have any questions about the dishes you own… the best precaution is to contact the manufacture of the dishes your use.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana.

P.S.  Remember to check out the Halloween Blog Party going on at Cottage In The County.


3 Responses to “Lead Poisoning and Ceramic Glazed Dishes”

  1. Lynne's Somewhat Invented LifeNo Gravatar on October 11th, 2008 6:14 pm

    Is there a product we can buy that will test our dishes for lead. I am worried about my crock pot plus I gave my VERY OLD one to my daughter.

    I never buy anything from China if I can see that is where it is manufactured. It isn’t worth the risk.

    And the bowl you designed is darling.

  2. adminNo Gravatar on October 11th, 2008 7:47 pm


    I don’t know of a product that we can use to test the lead in our dishes.
    Something I need to investigate. China is a risk… but look how many products we import. After being in China on business… I know we can’t be too careful.

  3. Linda BennettNo Gravatar on September 1st, 2011 2:00 pm

    Does anyone know if a dish made in china with the stamp QC F22 on it safe for food. The dish does not say if it is dishwasher safe, microwave safe either.

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