I’ve been following Tamera Ruben at Lead Safe Mama for quite some time and her advocacy work for safer choices after her own children were lead poisoned. It really hit home when she scanned the Rae Dunn dishes. It’s just something I didn’t even consider. Not just with Rae Dunn pieces, but many dishes I had in my own home. These innocent looking pieces of pottery could be filled with high amounts of lead, cadmium and arsenic. I realized that I really had to take a closer look at everything we were using to eat off of and drink out of.
I really dove deep, reading all of Tamera’s posts and watching her videos. I love collecting pretty dishes and I learned through Tamera’s XRF scans, that many of my pieces were probably very high levels of lead.
“Safe for all” is considered under 90ppm (parts per million) (though why is there lead being added to things that we eat off of anyways?) and some of the items she scans are in the hundreds of thousands ppm) This is something that I never even thought of before. I would see a pretty dish and I would purchase it. I didn’t even consider that something like our dishes would contain ridiculously high amounts of harmful toxins. We learn all about bpa free etc with children’s dishes but why don’t things like lead and arsenic come up? (P.s. Tamera found lead in many baby bottlesand other children’s things)
Dishes that usually test high are vintage and decorative. Tinted glass and paint markings on glass. (Awesomely enough though, the glass from pioneer womantested lead free) The risk usually comes once the finish starts to break down after long term use, cleaning, chipping, scratching etc. And then these high levels will start leaching into your food and drink. That doesn’t mean that only worn things are a risk though. I’ve seen tests done on coffee in a leaded mug and the coffee contained lead as well.
I started looking up all of the companies written on the bottom of my dishes and I can’t tell you how hard it is to find a company that willingly posts that their items are lead free or lead safe, even. (This is of course because they aren’t) Something that was really rather alarming was this post when I searched for some plates I had purchased from the dollar tree. Sure, mugs are sometimes positive when the matching plates aren’t, but it’s the same company and the mug states right on it not to use it for food as it contains toxic materials? No thanks.
Everyone around me probably thought I had gone mad when I started getting rid of all of our dishes and we were left with nothing to eat off of or drink from (yes, I’m being a tad dramatic) but I was excited to make a special trip to purchase some lead free options. I hadn’t bought new dish sets in forever so it felt a little like Christmas. Plus, making a safer choice for my family felt great. The best part is that all of these sets were very reasonably priced.
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- IKEA tests lead free. (They even state it right in their product info.)
- Winter Frost White Corelle dishes (not mugs) test lead free
- Anchor Hocking glass (new) tests lead free
- Libbey glass tests lead free
I also grabbed two large bowls from IKEA, a set of pasta bowls, some small plates and a couple of their regular dinner plates and bowls, just so we have extras if we have company over since I literally got rid of every other dish we had. IKEA’s tempered glass dishes are only $0.79 each! I also got rid of all of our questionable toddler dishes and grabbed all of these from IKEA as well. Other great toddler options are the divided dish from Corelle or true stainless steel.
We like bigger mugs so that’s why we went with the Libby set.
Corelle is awesome. Not only is the set we got, chip resistant AND lead free, their customer service is top notch. We bought a set of the Winter Frost White at Walmart and one of the large plates had a chip on the side. (It was obvious the box had been dropped but it was the last 12 pack set)(we avoided the 16 pack with the mug set because of it being a different material than the tempered glass and not completely lead free.) I called Corelle to let them know and they sent a replacement plate right away. ❤️ It was the easiest transaction I’ve ever had with a company! So, thank you Corelle for being so awesome!
It really is quite alarming how many things contain lead that we probably wouldn’t even think. The issue I’m having here is WHY do the things we eat off of contain lead, cadmium or arsenic anyways? AND, it’s not just dishes. There’s so many things. You can scan through Tamera’s index here.
I was all set to switch back from farmhouse to antique with our decor until I started learning about lead safe options in our homes. I’m thinking IKEA may be the way to go.
I’ve really been learning a lot following Tamera. Lead Safe Mamaand her group The Lead (Pb) Group are great resources for learning more about what contains lead. I appreciate her advocacy work so much. If you are able to donate to her work, here is her link.If not, sharing is still very helpful. Getting the word out about this and helping other families make safer choices. You can even go to purchase lead free items through her blog and that supports her though affiliate links.
Im thankful for learning what I have and I’m happy to of switched out all of our dishes for safer options. 🙌🏻
If I can choose safer options for what I’m feeding my family off of, why wouldn’t I?