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Old 01-23-2008, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Colorado
45 posts, read 433,601 times
Reputation: 87

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Good morning, Jessaka:

I have not read all of the replies to your concerns, so if someone has already covered this, then I apologize.

Your concern is not necessarily warranted. The mere presence of lead in a piece of china or glassware doesn’t necessarily indicate that there will be a lead exposure.

More importantly is the "bioavailability" of the lead in the item. For example, fine crystal contains HUGE amounts of lead (that is why it’s called “leaded crystal”), however, the lead is bound as a silicate and is not bioavailable – meaning it doesn’t pose an health hazard.

Other examples of lead that is not bioavailable would include lead as a common sulfide (such as the mineral galena).

And while I am no fan of China, we have to remember that manufacturers in the US, England, France and elsewhere are also using the same techniques.

So leaded glaze, (and leaded glass), where the lead is bound as a silicate, actually poses a far greater health threat to the potter than to the end user.

By the way, “Nicolem,” the lead testing kits don’t really tell you much for a variety of reasons, and I would not recommend them. I have performed studies on them and they are not reliable indicators of either presence, or exposure.

I hope that helps.

Cheers!
Caoimhín P. Connell
Forensic Industrial Hygienist

(The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)
AMDG
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:44 PM
 
833 posts, read 4,454,654 times
Reputation: 970
Default Fiestaware

I, too, just purchased Fiestaware last week. It's made in the USA and it states on the bottom of each plate 'lead free'. We were using everyday dishes made in China for about 10 years (they were on our wedding registry). Paranoid or not, we made the decision to trash those and are slowly building up our Fiestaware. Like another poster suggested, many department stores have 50% off sales on it. I only buy it if it's on sale. I bought four 'lunch dishes' and four 'dinner dishes' for about $60.00 total. They have many vibrant colors and I bought a rainbow variety.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,732 posts, read 31,778,474 times
Reputation: 6774
Quote:
Originally Posted by summers19 View Post
I, too, just purchased Fiestaware last week. It's made in the USA and it states on the bottom of each plate 'lead free'. We were using everyday dishes made in China for about 10 years (they were on our wedding registry). Paranoid or not, we made the decision to trash those and are slowly building up our Fiestaware. Like another poster suggested, many department stores have 50% off sales on it. I only buy it if it's on sale. I bought four 'lunch dishes' and four 'dinner dishes' for about $60.00 total. They have many vibrant colors and I bought a rainbow variety.
I'm glad you posted that. I am in search of some new dishes. I have chosen a pattern but I would love to have some solid choices to mix in, Fiesta is a perfect idea.

I have taken my Mexican glassware out of the cabinet and will be throwing them away.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
39,284 posts, read 18,815,681 times
Reputation: 46578
lots of little girls tea party sets are made in China! I bet they aren't tested.

Part of the problem is that the current administration has stressed "self regulation" and less government interference and has cut the budget for the laboratories and staff to test consumer items. At home we now get ecoli contaminated meat and spinach and lettuce and imported toys are laced with lead and date rape drugs. The other day I heard a Presidential candidate promising less government regulation of businesses. I WANT GOVERNMENT standards....I dont want to eat contaminated food or take medicine that can cause heart attacks and I want imports to be tested. I don't believe self regulation works and I don't trust our or China's incentive to do the right thing when profits are involved.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:57 AM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,702 posts, read 16,328,930 times
Reputation: 2060
OK, while you are worrying about lead in your dishes...those of you buying Fiesta ware need to think about something else. Old Fiestaware (usually found at antique stores) was made with a clay that was slightly radioactive. I don't know if Caomhin has ever taught any classes using it but we often use the antique Fiesta ware when teaching our folks how to use geiger counters and detect radiation. The levels are not dangerous (think of the Tritium used to make glow in the dark watch faces), but they are detectable and a definite way to tell the originals from the modern copies.

Back to lead...in Texas the biggest problem with lead (in children) occur in this order:
1. Lead paint in homes
2. Homeopathic remedies - some of these powders like Azarcon, rueda and similar are over 90% lead See: The Associated Press: AP IMPACT: Folk Medicines Contain Lead (broken link)
3. Pottery - usually from Mexico but other places as well
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:02 PM
 
5,006 posts, read 13,852,924 times
Reputation: 2422
Caoimhin, If it is no problem, then why did the U.S. ban lead in dishes, and why did a doctor tell me that he knew of a man that got lead poisoning from the glassware in Mexico? This doctor lived in Laredo, Texas and was my doctor when I lived there.

Feista dishes in heather. Waah! I want Feista dishes in heather.

I got some glass bowls from walmart made in the U.S. If you can believe that. lol

I quit using my dog dish and got one that was made in the U.S. The clerk at the hardware store said it wasn't made with lead.

I wouldn't throw my Mexican dishes away; I would display them. I have an entire set from a little village near Patzcuaro, if spelled correctly, in white and brown, the brown being a painting. I want to display them. If I ever ate off them I would put a napkin on top and have a sandwich on them. I have done that in the past because I knew that they had lead in them. I hope one day when my husband is through remodeling the house that I will have a dishrack on the wall of the dining room for them.

Last edited by Mattie Jo; 01-27-2008 at 04:25 AM..
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:45 PM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,702 posts, read 16,328,930 times
Reputation: 2060
Folks often interchange the terms glassware, china, and pottery when they are entirely different things. Correl, for instance, is NOT china, it is glassware. Fiesta ware is not china either, it is actually pottery. It all has to do with materials and manufacturing process but folks sometimes use the terms interchangeably anyway leading to great confusion.
Also, it is not impossible that actual glassware (as in drinking glasses) may be decorated and that the decoration (be it striping or characters, etc.) contain lead. I remember that this was the case many years ago when one of the fast-food places was giving away decorated glasses with disney or other characters on them.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,364 posts, read 59,796,813 times
Reputation: 54006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poltracker View Post
Old Fiestaware (usually found at antique stores) was made with a clay that was slightly radioactive.
Only the red Fiesta, from the original run of the product, is radioactive, and it came from the uranium used in the glaze, not from the clay itself. Use of that particular pigment was discontinued during World War II because the uranium was shunted off for the Manhattan Project. It's safe to use, however, and all other colors of original Fiesta are safe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessaka View Post
I just bought a set of corelle dishes made here and without lead.
Corelle is glass, not earthenware.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes + some
2,885 posts, read 1,511,142 times
Reputation: 346
So if we've been eating on inherited lead dishes for years, why are we still here?
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:32 PM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,702 posts, read 16,328,930 times
Reputation: 2060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Only the red Fiesta, from the original run of the product, is radioactive, and it came from the uranium used in the glaze, not from the clay itself. Use of that particular pigment was discontinued during World War II because the uranium was shunted off for the Manhattan Project. It's safe to use, however, and all other colors of original Fiesta are safe.


Corelle is glass, not earthenware.
Thanks OG, I stand corrected...we do use a red plate for training.
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