Lead Poisoning and Crock Pots

October 4, 2008 · Print This Article

Crock pots containing lead was the subject of an investigation that started in Salt Lake City with KUTV’s Bill Gephardt. After his investigation about lead in ceramic glazed plates, bowls and mugs and finding high a content of lead in them, his focus turned to ceramic glazed crock pots after a viewer did a little research on her own.

A mom from Weber County, was a frequent user of her crock pot. Her concern about lead poisoning prompted her to take her Rival slow cooker to the county fair, where a booth was doing free lead testing on dishes. What she discovered was her crock pot contain lead. She notified Gephardt about her findings and he took the investigation from there.

Gephardt took several slow cookers to Data Chem lab in Salt Lake City to be tested. He found that 20 percent of the cookers were leaching out measurable amounts of lead into food. When ceramic ware is heated to just 80-degrees, it releases nearly 10-times the amount of lead as a plate at room temperature. (Something to keep in mind when you heat food in the micro-wave on ceramic dishes.) Crock pots can heat up to more than 250-degrees.

Wanting additional findings, Gephardt took a crock pot to chemist Robert Aullman, who preformed the standard test established by the Food and Drug Administration for testing leaching lead. He found that the Rival slow cooker leached lead at .085 parts per million. Anything below 2.0 is considered acceptable by the FDA. (It’s important to note that lead does not leave the body easily. A build up of lead over a period of time is dangerous.)

Mr. Gephardt took his findings to Utah House Rep. Jim Matheson. Congress was looking into a proposed amendment that would force manufactures to put labels on ceramic ware to identify lead content. However, Gephardt’s investigation was reported in 2004 and, so far, no law or amendment has been put into place.

My research in to whether Rival had removed the lead from their crock pots produced conflicting information. I called Rival’s Consumer Services department (1-800-777-5452) and they confirmed that their slow cookers still contain lead. They stated that the level is below the FDA standard for lead in ceramic products.

Upon further investigation, I called Hamilton Beach (1-800-851-8900) and they assured me that their crock pots do not contain any lead or cadmium. (Cadmium is another highly toxic metal associated with zinc ores. Oil paint used by artist’s contain a lot of Cadmium and Zinc…. Cadmium Red…Cadmium Yellow… Zinc White. It’s also found in industries where ore is being processed or smelted. Ceramic can be colored with Cadmium colors.)

It’s been suggested that you can use plastic liners in your crock pot so lead doesn’t leach into your food. I personally don’t recommend doing that because plastics heated to high temperatures leach other kinds of toxins. However, Reynolds claim their liners are made from a high resin nylon which is suitable for high temperature cooking. You’ll have to be the judge on this one.

I don’t use my crock pot often, but when I do, I want to know that the food is completely safe for my family. “So long… Good-bye… Rival crock pot.”

I find it disconcerting that the FDA allows any amount of lead in products if it’s possible to manufacture them with out it. A little of this… and and little of that… here and there can amount to a lot of toxins being ingested by Americans.

I’m not convinced that the FDA always has our best interests in mind. Just look at how many drugs and products are taken off the market that have been found to be harmful… even deadly… after the FDA has put its stamp of approval on them.

Becoming aware, and taking responsibility for our own well-being is the best solution for combating toxic and lead poisoning.

Till Later
Insightful Nana

P.S. The Hamilton Beach 6 Qt. slow cooker runs about $49.99 compared to Rival’s 6 Qt. at $34.99. It looks like Hamilton Beach is a bit more expensive… but what’s $15.00 when you can have a lead free product and peace of mind.

P.S.S. If you find another crock pot that doesn’t contain lead… let me know.


59 Responses to “Lead Poisoning and Crock Pots”

  1. JennNo Gravatar on December 4th, 2011 9:30 am

    Just looked up my Proctor-Silex brand crock pot…lead and cadmium free! Cheap too!

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  3. Ellen CentersNo Gravatar on March 1st, 2012 12:30 pm

    Could someone tell me “For Sure” where I can buy affordable cooking ware that will NOT leach harmful chemicals into my family’s food! I’ve been diagnosed with so many “unknown” health problems like lupus for starters, but that is just the beginning…. Anywho, to make it short, I am looking into buying new dish ware, crock, pots and pans, etc. So please direct me ONLY if your sure it is reliable.

  4. Ellen CentersNo Gravatar on March 1st, 2012 12:38 pm

    I was also inquiring about testing my family and myself for metals. Is there an affordable way of doing this? Is there any thing we can take to purge ourselves of theses life-threatening poisons, that is safe for All ages? I know that chealaton can deplete our bodies of other minerals and vitamins that we need, so I was concerned about giving it to children!
    Thanks Again,

  5. CharlesNo Gravatar on July 26th, 2012 9:26 am

    Does anyone know about lead content in TRU crockpots?

  6. MonicaNo Gravatar on September 27th, 2012 11:14 am

    This is what I saw on the HB website:
    ” Lead and cadmium are naturally occurring elements in the earth. As cooking vessels are earthenware cooking vessels, lead and cadmium may be naturally present. HBB cooking vessels are porcelain enamel coated to create a barrier between food and earthenware. The porcelain enamel coated cooking vessels are evaluated using ASTM extraction test procedures with detection limits of 0.1 ug/ml for lead and 0.01ug/ml for cadmium. In HBB cooking vessels, the amount of lead or cadmium present in the extractant is below the test’s limits of detection. Additionally, the factories that manufacture HBB cooking vessels are certified ceramic production facilities whose ceramic ware is deemed to satisfy FDA heavy metal requirements in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and China. HBB takes all reasonable steps to ensure that our cook vessels provide safe and satisfactory service to our consumers.”

    I don’t know if that 0.1ug/ml is the same measurement as the Rival leaching 0.085 parts per million, but to me, this says that HB has lead too, maybe even more than Rival. I think it’s just a fancy way of stating it; after all, they do say that lead is naturally occurring. I sent an email to Rival, will see what they say.

  7. LisaNo Gravatar on October 5th, 2012 5:20 pm

    Hi – I just came across this blog post when researching the “safety of enamel crock pots.” I have a Williams-Sonoma Crock, yes the very expensive one, that I use to make chicken stock, which I slow-cook for about 36 hours. I have 2 school-aged kids, and I started to think about it’s safety. I love the bone broth soups, and I know they are really good for promoting good health. However, I am now worried about if anything might be leaching by making my stock in a slow cooker. Anyone know about Williams-Sonoma Slow Cookers. I got mine in 2009. I will write the company as well. Thank you.

  8. melodyNo Gravatar on October 21st, 2012 11:33 pm

    Its crazy how toxic most cookware is these days.
    If you want an impressive at home cookware test just boil 1 tbs baking soda and one cup of water 10 min then taste a drop. should taste like baking soda and water right? You will be shocked most taste like metals or chem’s

  9. DonnaNo Gravatar on September 2nd, 2013 4:51 pm

    Our crock pot just broke so now am trying to find a crock pot/slow cooker made in USA but no luck. We also use Pyrex glassware, libby or drinking, Corelle dishes — all made in USA and can also use Fiesta ware. We are trying to use everything made in USA as best as we can because we get enough chemicals/poisons etc in the things we eat and drink. We heat up all foods in microwave in glass containers covered in paper towels. Thought the stainless pots I got at JC Penney was all USA made BUT are designed in USA and send to china to be made, ugh. Found company in USA that makes them but very expensive. Also looking into all kitchen utensils to be changed to USA made. Its a slow expensive endeavor but worth it for my family.

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