Silva has a background as a technical writer. In addition to how-to articles, she writes about cooking, travel, and personal experiences.
I started reading about the dangers of lead and cadmium content in our dinnerware from my perspective as a mosaic artist. I noticed the residue in the water reservoir of my ring saw after I used it to cut dinner plates.
I nip and saw beautiful, colorful old dinnerware from all over the world. I handle it and breathe it and I was curious: how dangerous are these elements?
After some research, I quickly became interested as a grandma and as a human who loves children.
- Lead accumulates in your bones where it displaces calcium.
- Cadmium exposure can cause kidney disease, lung damage, cancer, and fragile bones.
- According to the FDA, adults absorb 11% of the lead that reaches their digestive tract, and children absorb between 30 to 75%.
- When lead is inhaled, up to 50% is absorbed.
- The half-life for lead is about 20 years. In other words, of the amount you have in your body now, half of it will still be in your body 20 years from now.
Exposure to Children
We know that children are in danger from the lead and cadmium contained in imported toys, jewelry, lunch bags, candy, and baby bibs.
The list goes on and on and it’s been all over the news. Even handbags have been in the news. Imported handbags are full of lead, and moms sometimes carry their baby’s bottle, pacifier, toys, bibs and washcloths in them.
From what I read on the Internet today, children are also in danger of absorbing these poisons in their own home while eating food lovingly prepared by their parents and protectors!
As parents we must do our best to reduce exposure whenever possible. It is our responsibility to make whatever changes are necessary, without naively relying on the government.
I found this statement in an Internet article: "For more information on lead and cadmium in dinnerware and a list of companies that offer safe dinnerware, visit "Environmental Defenses Website."
But when I clicked on that link, this is what I got: “For information on lead in consumer products, please visit the Center for Environmental Health. EDF no longer maintains updated listings on lead in china dishes.” (I never did find that list.) Hmmmm.
Lead and cadmium from dinnerware can leach into your body by:
- Eating acidic foods off it
- Microwaving it
- Washing it in a dishwasher (the heat and powerful water action can damage the glazed surface) (who wants to hear this information)!
It’s been used for thousands of years to make dishes durable and to make bright and glasslike colored glazes. In the USA, government standards supposedly limit lead in dishes, yet imported dinnerware still poses a threat.
Mexican pottery remains a major source of exposure, and consumers are advised to avoid cooking or storing food in imported bean pots, decorative pieces and other ceramics from Latin America, Asia and other areas.
While most dinnerware sold in the USA conforms to legal lead limits, it is not easy for consumers to know about the lead content of specific items. How could we? It is impossible to track every item and its lead content.
- Terra cotta pottery from Latin America, especially more rustic items with a transparent glaze
- Highly decorated Asian dishware
- Dishware with food contact surfaces containing bright colored decorations
- Glazed pieces with rough, raised or worn decorations, indicating that the decoration is on top of the glaze
- Antique dishware or dishware made before 1970
- Leaded crystal glassware should not be used by children or pregnant women, and food or liquids, including wine, should never be stored in lead crystal.
Getting Information on Your Dishware
Concerned consumers can ask retailers or email or phone manufacturers to see if they know the lead content of the products they sell. Some of them do not respond. Even if they do, how can we be sure they’re correctly informed?
The bottom line is that some manufacturers say that their products are lead-free because they meet Food and Drug Administration guidelines. They can legally get away with saying that. Other, more honest manufacturers say, no, their products are not lead-free.
The FDA vs the EPA
Unlike toys and most other consumer products, dishes are regulated by the FDA. The FDA doesn't care how much lead is in a plate. It wants to know how much lead leaches out, something an XRF cannot detect. For that, there is a special leach test that can only be done in a laboratory.
The FDA tests for leachable lead amounts, while the EPA tests for the lead content. If a dinnerware piece has been fired correctly at high temperatures there should not be noticeable lead leaching. If the dinnerware is not used to store acidic foods, there should be not a problem.
Home Lead Tests
Home lead test kits test for surface lead only. They may detect surface lead on dishware and a positive test indicates a hazard, but since the test may not detect lower but still significant lead levels, a negative result is no guarantee that the dishware is safe.
I read on several different sites that glass and stoneware, unless decorated, are generally lead-free.
Generally, I feel more comfortable eating from plates manufactured in Europe and the USA, and would avoid dinnerware from Asia, Mexico, and Central America.
Corelle, Anchor Hocking, and Pyrex, not decorated, may be fine. I learned that not all whites are safe. The transparent glaze may contain lead.
I said generally because I learned while surfing the web that Pfaltzgraff, which until recently was made in the USA and now is manufactured elsewhere, does contain lead and that their Villa Della Luna ware and Nautica J Class have been recalled.
Several manufacturers now offer dinnerware made without lead and promote "lead-free" while selling their dishes.
- I read that the Homer Laughlin China Company’s new Fiesta line does not contain cadmium or lead, and as a bonus, it is designed and manufactured in the USA. According to their website, in the early eighties, Homer Laughlin began to produce lead-free china. Using lead-free glazes and a vitrified china body, Fiesta was reintroduced in new and updated colors.
- Denby (England) claims "No lead or cadmium is used during the manufacturing process of any Denby product." However, a reader informed me that Denby's products are now manufactured in China, so I crossed Denby off my list.
- Hartstone Pottery (USA) tells consumers "all body, glaze and paint raw materials are lead and cadmium free."
- Sengware (USA) is 100% lead and cadmium free and has modern colors and designs. However, Sengware is now out of business since I originally published this article.
- Terra Keramik (Switzerland) says theirs contain zero lead and cadmium. I read where Germany is the only country that can produce lead-free glass. Interestingly, Terra Keramik imports their clay and their platinum from Germany.
- Emile Henry (manufactured in France) states that "there is no lead or cadmium in our products, all of the glazes meet California Prop 65, and all of the products are 100% food safe." ** see reader's comment below! Her Emile Henry tested high in lead!
- Apilco and Pilluvuyt, (manufactured in France) are also supposed to be lead and cadmium-free. I read somewhere that Williams Sonoma tests all of their dinnerware, glassware and other items used for serving food to ensure that they meet FDA and California Proposition 65 requirements for lead and cadmium.
- Emerson Pottery is based in the US and follows green practices.
- This American commercial manufacturer, HF Coors, states that their dinnerware is lead- and cadmium-free.
- Lead and cadmium free certified coffee mugs from Mug Revolution.
I think it's because it's the toughest requirement out there (in the US, anyway) so it's "the" one to adhere to. Here's some info I found on the web:
Proposition 65 is a California voter initiative passed in 1986 requiring the Governor to publish a list of chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm. The list of "Prop 65 Chemicals" currently contains over 700 chemical entries and is updated quarterly.
Prop 65 requires that "No person in the course of doing business shall knowingly and intentionally expose any individual to a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity without first giving clear and reasonable warning to such individual."
Generally, I guess the safest thing to do is avoid all porcelain, ceramic and stoneware and use glass as much as possible, or trust one of these manufacturers listed above and go buy all new dinnerware.
Oh, and back to the original quest, all of us mosaic artists who use broken china in our creations should take some precautions (gloves, masks) and be more aware of the dangers when working with lovely old vintage plates and colorful imports.
firstname.lastname@example.org on November 04, 2020:
Does anyone know if the "Nautica Home Collection" white dinnerware is safe?
Don on September 19, 2020:
Is the China Made All-Clad Stainless-Steel Outdoor Square Grilling Basket free of lead and cadmium?
Is the China Made Wüsthof Stainless-Steel Metal Skewers free lead and cadmium?
Both products are made in China.
Thank you! 2020 Sept 19th.
Lisa Marie Carlson on September 02, 2019:
Was happy to see this post. I've recently contacted Pottery Barn regarding their Cambria dish set. The white is wearing away and I'm not convinced that what is underneath is safe. The bottom of the dishes that have scratches is showing gray. The top part is wearing away and that appears to be more of a beige. It is stoneware with a patina glaze, made in Portugal. I've only had them for a couple of years. Very disappointed.
Bep Viet from Ha Noi, Viet Nam on April 20, 2019:
Great article. Very interesting..
Patti Moore on August 26, 2018:
Thank you so much for a list of companies producing safe products. I love blue willow china, and I'm hoping someone produces them lead free soon! I also am a lover of vintage china especially Haviland. Do you have news of how vintage Haviland tests for lead including their white or ivory blanks.
Chad Crouch from South Africa on August 28, 2017:
Great article. Nice! Very informative!
Deborah Minter from U.S, California on August 26, 2017:
Peeps on March 15, 2017:
Why is that as soon as a product is made in China it automatically means it's dangerous? Last time I checked they have monitored factories and testing being done. There was even an article I read on products made in US and Japan that contains more lead than ones from China.
anne on February 22, 2017:
Thanks for this, I have struggled finding details for ages.
I will start looking at saucepans next, I don't have a dishwasher, I never liked the thought of it.
I do think you need to look at Denby again the Stoneware is fine, its all made in the u.k.
I just started buying Denby in the last Month .
I personally would never buy anything they make in another country, you buy expensive Denby product's because they last and last, my Auntie has Denby from 1975 lots of it, and some from her Mum that is 1940's.
DenbyDean on February 20, 2017:
Dear Silva, thanks for writing the excellent article. For the record, can I just point out that Denby Pottery Stoneware is manufactured in Derbyshire in the UK. Only our China and Porcelain ranges are made overseas in a couple of closely monitored factories, overseen by UK staff. All product is tested to the same standard whether made in the UK or overseas, and passes all FDA and Prop 65 metal release limits. Enjoy your Denby product!
Gissela Welle on January 02, 2017:
Corelle white glass? Have you tested that one?
Carla on September 14, 2016:
I just saw this yesterday as I found out my Mikasa dinner set is leaching. Six years ago Mikasa could not confirm if the patter summer essence had any lead or cadmium because the company had been sold and no records were kept.
I contacted Arc intl they own Luminarc in regards to their glassware and glass storage containers in regards to lead, cadmium and alumina. Their products are manufactured in different countries including China.
This was my enquiry and response from them:
I just purchased a few of your products, the luminar lunar glassware range and the keep n box storage. I would like to know if these products have any lead, cadmium or alumina in them? The keep n jugs state cadmium and lead free but these other products don't mention it.
"our products are designed without lead or cadmium."
I hope this helps as there is little info on the Luminarc range and they seem to have good environmental practices from what is disclosed on their website.
Marla on August 23, 2016:
I emailed dollar tree about their royal norfolk brand and they go off on the prop 65 without really giving me a yes or no. Has anyone tested these plates and bowls? I need inexpensive dinnerware however I want it to be safe.
silva on July 15, 2016:
Thank you for all the info you put together. Would you happen to know If Luminarc is safe? Its made in France mostly and very few things are sold here
Elizabeth on July 04, 2016:
Is Lenox Butterfly Garden china lead-free or lead-safe?
Maurice Glaude from Mobile, AL on July 01, 2016:
I've become aware of this recently. Glad to have a little more information on it. Got to stay healthy!
Annie on May 24, 2016:
Thank you for taking your time to post so much information that you have researched, and doing the footwork for me..
Charles Stair on May 06, 2016:
Does anyone know if the vintage Octime-black Arcoroc plates, bowels, and cups are safe? My wife collects them and we are now regularly eating off of them again.
mary on April 15, 2016:
Thank you for all your work everyone. I've been researching based on many of the commenters' posts. I need a new set of dishware and wanted a Dansk pattern, Burbs Stardust Blue. I like many of their patterns. However, Dansk brand is a Lenox company as someone says in their comment. They have many nice patterns but I have to call them. I think they're made in China. I did email them but they didn't answer. If so, made in China, hmmm, judging by the research we've all done, I think not.
I wanted to let people know that I emailed Crate and Barrel re their patterns "Cotton Clear" "Jars Touron Acqua" and "Wilder" patterns. I asked if they contain lead and/or cadmium. They answered right away saying: "All of the dinnerware patterns we carry at Crate and Barrel have passed FDA standards for allowable lead levels. They also comply with California Proposition 65, which has more stringent regulations regarding lead levels in dinnerware. Please be assured that our dinnerware goes through both performance and lead/cadmium testing and they pass the laboratory tests without any safety concerns."
I don't like white dinnerware so Pilluvuyt is out. I don't like Fiesta either. Bennington Pottery also has lovely selections and no lead or cadmium in their clay or glaze. I called them. However, service for 8 runs into the $600-700's. However, they're hand made. It's deplorable that people have to go to these lengths to get answers.
RTalloni on April 12, 2016:
A useful hub that has many useful comments. Thanks for highlighting the concerns.
Annie on March 26, 2016:
Thank for all your help with our dinnerware etc.
Has anyone thought about what our dishwashers are throwing off on our dinnerware, glasses, and silverware!
That said, I just got a new stainless dishwasher, (KitchenAid) yesterday installed.
I noticed on the bottom of the manual, it said this does not meet Prop 65, in California, and can cause cancer, and harm children.
I was also looking at the Bosch, and Fisher Paykel, But KitchenAid says Made in America. Although I think there all the same!!
I did call KitchenAid yesterday and they did Not know anything, but finally gave me the Gov website to Prop 65.
That said, does anyone know of dishwasher that is safe?
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on March 23, 2016:
As near as I can determine, clear Anchor Hocking is safe as far as not containing heavy metals.
N on March 23, 2016:
Is clear glass anchor hocking safe?
Annie on February 22, 2016:
Thank you So much for taking your time and sharing the info & pictures of the older Pyrex etc..
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on February 21, 2016:
Annie on February 21, 2016:
But does that mean ALL the brands I mentioned
Are all lead & cadmium free, since there all made in the USA?
Most of mine have the blue flower, or all white, or the orange fruit etc. but the older ones.
Do you know what the old 1915 look like? If so what.
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on February 21, 2016:
Elliot on February 19, 2016:
Starbucks mugs are made in China. I purchased a solid white one. Does it have lead ? Will it leach lead? I can't find anything.
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on January 26, 2016:
What happened in 1970 is that the FDA began testing dinnerware to ensure its safety. This means that any dishes from after that date are more likely to be in compliance with safety standards. The type of lead used in older dishes was more dangerous; now it's compounded and a bit less toxic.
Bobbi on January 26, 2016:
You mentioned that vintage ware older than 1970 is an issue. I have loads of vintage Pyrex. One of my patterns is from either the late 60's or early 70's (I have to double check for sure) and the other is the last decorative pattern they made in the 80's. So, is the stuff made in the 80's safe? It is the mushroom print that I believe is called Forest Fantasies. Did a law take place in 1970 that made manufacturers remove the harmful contents of dishes?
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on December 15, 2015:
In Flint, Michigan, there is so much lead in children's blood that a state of emergency is declared. December 2015. Google it.
Bonnie C on December 05, 2015:
What about Stokes brand dinnerware from Canada? I am not readily finding any information about there toxicity content.
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on December 03, 2015:
According to this article, Caleca is lead and cadmium free, but I cannot find whether it has always been so:
The fact that it chips easily when it is not supposed to, and it gets hot in the microwave, causes me to have concern. I would probably replace it.
Nancy M on December 03, 2015:
I have Caleca dinnerware from about 25 years ago. I thought it was from Italy but realize that it only states that it is hand painted in Italy. It chips easily and gets hot in the microwave. The pattern is light pink/blue/green. My husband was concerned about the lead content and after reading all the posts here, so am I. Someone posted that Caleca was safe but I wonder if that only applies to newer items. Does anyone know?
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on November 28, 2015:
I haven't been able to establish the content of Bistro yet. However, it sounds safe -- it's high quality porcelain, white, and is not easily marked with utensils.
Erika D on November 27, 2015:
I saw the Bisto set at Sur La Table is made in Turkey - any worries there?
Jessica on October 21, 2015:
Is Crate and Barrel, West Elm, or Pottery Barn ok?
Sarah on September 30, 2015:
You are amazing. Thank you!
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on September 29, 2015:
According to all the information I have been able to gather, Sur La Table porcelain dinnerware is safe.
Sarah on September 29, 2015:
I am about to order the Sur La Table Porcelain Square dishes. Is their porcelain dinnerware also safe?
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on September 18, 2015:
Until I find out otherwise I am assuming that white Corningware is safe.
Ann on September 18, 2015:
If Pyrex is made by corningware is it assumed that the white corningware is also safe?(casserole dishes, etc)
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on September 13, 2015:
The Franz Collection sounds like a great option. They state specifically that their glaze is lead-free. Thank you for the link!
Amber Dawn Tyner on September 13, 2015:
Silva would you ever consider the Franz collection ?
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on September 03, 2015:
Kate, thank you so much for this useful information!
Kate on September 03, 2015:
Villeroy and Boch crystal glassware and bone porcelaine do contain lead. I got the composition by the company which confirms the %.
The Bone China is lead transparent.
According to their data the hard porcelaine (traditional) is fired at 950c and is transparent without lead, the bone China is fired at 1250C and it is lead transparent. The crystal glassware have 10% lead oxide, the lead crystal 24% and the superior crystal 30%.
Be aware that if you call them the customer service personnel can mislead you telling you that all are lead-free having ignorance of the matter. You should contact them by email and get formal reply by the experts.
Keep asking questions to manufacturers! Put them out of ease! Do not support companies that do not have transparency in their policies-standards. They have to share tests results, if not then those might be positive.
Kate on September 03, 2015:
Can anyone comment on Lubiana's porcelain dinnerware?
Kristi on August 16, 2015:
I see that Corelle is listed and wonder if the patterned dishes are okay, or only the Winter Frost white ones? Thank you!
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on June 24, 2015:
My thoughts are that, until I can find otherwise, Duralex Lys Dinnerware is safe to use. Well-respected company and product made 100% in France.
Anna on June 24, 2015:
What are your thoughts on the Duralex Lys Dinnerware? http://www.duralexusa.com/Lys-Dinnerware-cat8.html
moni moon on May 26, 2015:
Below is a copy of an email received from fiesta today. Talking with HF Coors i think the situation may be similar. In both cases, it's possible that they only use the cadmium for reds, but i don't know.
The Homer Laughlin China Company knowingly uses encapsulated cadmium containing pigments to create some of the vitrified Fiesta Glazes. While the existence of cadmium can be detected using X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis (XRF), XRF is not an approved test method to determine the leachability of cadmium in ceramic dinnerware. XRF does indicate what metals are present in the sample. There is no threshold value (ppm) for cadmium by any state or federal agency for ceramic dinnerware using XRF.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and California Proposition 65 use a specific test method with threshold values (ppm) to determine the leachability of cadmium using an acidic solution to leach the metal from the food use side of the dinnerware.
The Homer Laughlin China Company regularly utilizes testing laboratories to determine the cadmium leachability of the new glaze colors and checks existing glaze colors to verify compliance with the requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and California Proposition 65. The Homer Laughlin China Company is in full compliance with the cadmium leachability requirements for ceramic dinnerware required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and California Proposition 65.
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on May 25, 2015:
Thanks for this information. I have added a mention of it in the article, along with the link you provided. They have some really nice patterns!
di on May 25, 2015:
Have you researched Emerson Creek Pottery? I can't remember if you have yet?
Karenk on April 22, 2015:
I am saddened that you took Denby off of your list. I own Denby that is clearly marked made in England and/or Portugal on each piece and those do not contain lead or cadmium. Although I try not to buy anything from China (Denby says their Chinese made doesn't contain L or C), what is produced in the EU, especially higher end wares from France, England and Germany often have higher standards than here.
Annie89 on April 13, 2015:
Just bought anchor hocking USA clear drinking glasses .
Would they meet prop 65???
Or do all clear drinking glasses meet prop 65?
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on April 04, 2015:
Exactly. It's so frustrating trying to get a straight "Yes" or "No" from manufacturers.
Annie89 on April 03, 2015:
Good info from Lenox, but they did not mention anything about Cadmium!!
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on March 25, 2015:
Received this reply today from Lenox. I inquired whether their Tin Can Alley line had any lead or cadmium in it.
"Thank you for your inquiry regarding the lead content in our products.
Lenox has been a leader in the tableware industry for over 120 years and our manufacturing process is dependable and trustworthy. Our products are government tested annually and we assure you that our products test far below the stringent lead limits set by the Federal Food and Drug Administration and Tableware Safety Program standards. We want to assure you that the safety of our customers is very important to us. We value your patronage and hope that you will continue to support the Lenox product line."
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on March 23, 2015:
Somewhat off-topic but someone just sent me this link; the wine I drink is on this list; some California wines with dangerous levels of arsenic:
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on March 23, 2015:
I emailed Lenox Customer Service and I will come back here with their reply.
Since it is made in the USA and is white, you are probably okay, but you are correct; it is truly staggering how hard we have to look to keep our families safe!!
Sharon on March 23, 2015:
Hello, I purchased Lenox Tin Can Alley, white bone china. It is made in the USA, please tell me it is lead/cadmium free... It was very, very expensive. Thank you for all the info... It is staggering how hard we have to look to keep our families safe!!
Dawn on March 18, 2015:
Great site, I have been reading all comments and you put Corelle on your list. Which dishes are recommended? I was looking at getting rid of my Ikea 365 white dishes and purchasing Corelle white from Walmart. Are the plain white safe, because I read earlier comment from Annie89 that lead was used in the dishes.
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on March 12, 2015:
Anna, Dansk has been purchased by Lenox.
Annie89 on March 12, 2015:
You might want to buy for the baby, and your self for everyday, Corelle, its made in the USA, by Corning ware..It meets Prop 65,.
Amazon sells it, take a look, but I noticed that Walmart prices are really inexpensive for Corelle.
Its not great looking, but I'm getting use to it, and loving it..
It is Glass, but does not break easy. Many families use it for that reason also, it last for years.
Truthfully for company I do not use it..
Anna on March 11, 2015:
Also, does anyone have a recommendation for children's plates/bowls/cups? I am using stainless steel right now, but I read above that stainless steel might not be the best choice. I don't want to use plastic, and my baby is too small for glass. Thanks!
Anna on March 11, 2015:
I am new to this site, and I am looking to replace my current dinnerware. This site has been a great resource, but I am still confused on which set to purchase at an affordable price. I have read that you do not recommend Dansk, but would you comment as to why. From my research it looks as if their dinnerware is lead free and made in Indonesia not China. I almost bough a set today. Thanks!
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on March 08, 2015:
Jean, still searching for the content of Jadeite. All I've found so far is this:
"Jade glass, also known as Jadite or Jadeite, is another particularly popular type of uranium glass. It was marketed by such companies as McKee and Jeannette Glass in the 1920’s and ‘30’s, but by the time Anchor-Hocking’s Fire-King Jadeite line appeared in 1942, uranium was no longer being added."
Roxy on March 08, 2015:
Just purchased Xtrema Ceramcor bakeware for their claim that it was Lead and other toxins free which are mentioned by nat above. However... a bit pricey.
In my search for leaser expensive items, came across the visions fry pans. Question is, does anyone know if the corning ware visions line of fry pans would be lead free/led- leaching free?
Jean on March 06, 2015:
Do you know if old Jadeite dishes are safe for dinnerware?
Summer on February 15, 2015:
What about Duralex?
Looks like they have a kids line too.
jen on February 12, 2015:
Fiestaware tested positive for uranium (a radioactive element). Intake of uranium can lead to cancer &/or liver damage. Other brand names of dinnerware containing uranium: Caliente, Early California, Poppytrail, Stangl and Vistosa. Red & white ceramic plates manufactured under the the Food Network Label tested high for uranium. The white plate tested higher for uranium than the red plate. They were made in China. Acidic foods will react with the plate & cause a higher ingestion of uranium (a radioactive element)
nat on January 31, 2015:
Silva, do you know any info on Dr. Mercola, ceramic pots and pans? They are suppose to be lead, aluminum, nickel, iron, chronium, copper, cadmium and other heavy metal free.
Annie on January 27, 2015:
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on January 27, 2015:
Thanks to our readers, here's an updated list of what we *think* are lead-free dishes:
Sur La Table
Annie on January 27, 2015:
I noticed in your list you did not mention Corelle dinnerware that is made in the USA . I was told by the Company it meets the standard for prop 65, for lead and cadmium ,as it always did.
How come that is not on your list?
AnnMM on January 17, 2015:
I purchased 8 Hartstone Pottery mugs several years ago. My sons use daily. They toss in the sink, dishwasher and then put away and sometimes stacking them. They are not careful with them to say the least. We have no chips at all on them which is pretty amazing for stoneware.
I wanted to ask why Sur La Table was not in the updated list of dishes?
Ann Marie on January 17, 2015:
I just wanted to comment about Hartstone Pottery. I purchased 8 mugs several years ago and they are used daily by adults and two boys. No chips or cracks, they are very durable especially for stoneware. They have been tossed in the sink, then dishwasher, then not carefully double stacked in the pantry by the boys and look as good as new.
I also wanted to ask why Sur La Table was not in your updated list of the lead free?
Kate on January 17, 2015:
Thanks so much for all the research and contributions. I'm definitely using the research in purchasing new dishes.
I wonder if you have any recommendations for a good crockpot. I'm concerned about the heat over time and trying to find one with a lead and cadmium.
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on January 12, 2015:
Here's my updated list of what we *think* are lead-free dishes:
About a lead-testing kit you can use at home, I understand that it only tests for surface lead. I emailed Peggy Karr Glass but haven't received a reply.
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on January 11, 2015:
I will attempt a list -- the problem is that the information changes, companies who manufacture lead-free dishes in the US suddenly send their manufacturing overseas and the formula changes . . . over the next few days I will go over our information and verify that it is as up-to-date as possible.
Monette on January 11, 2015:
wow! Thanks for everyone for doing all this work. My new years resolution is to get rid of the harmful dishes, cups and cookware in my home. Is there a list somewhere with all the acceptable brands?
Carol on January 09, 2015:
Is there a good lead tester we could use to see if our dishes & mugs to see if they are safe to use?
Annie89 on January 05, 2015:
I called the website you put up ( Miriam etc.)
I personally do not think, or have found any type of cookware that is healthier .
There's is 100 percent pure.
Handmade in the USA
Although pricey .
If I could afford it , I would buy it..
She lives in the USA , but comes from India.
I mentioned about eating off of silver in her country. She said she never heard of it, but she thought it might be tin that was talked about here!!!
Silver , tin is not healthy to cook from,or eat dinnerware from..
.To much nickel etc.
Xpictinaki on January 04, 2015:
I found this interesting site which has info on glassware along with a bunch of other stuff: http://www.haz-map.com/leadfact.htm. I found a Correlle pattern I liked, too (yay). On another note: Awhile back when I was doing work on my Masters, I had read about the lead oxide inks used in bread wrappers which were used predominantly in the red, yellow, brown and black dyes; they were supposed to quit using them. Then several years later, the bread started to be double bagged (have an inner wrapper). So now I'm wondering if they quit the lead oxides or just prevented "leaching."
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on January 03, 2015:
Emile Henry makes a high-quality scratch-resistant product and states on their website that their products are lead- and cadmium-free. However, I wonder if there is a problem with language here. Perhaps they actually mean that although lead and/or cadmium is present, their glaze is such a good quality glaze that it prevents leaching? One commenter here, Bonnie, had hers tested and it did test positive for lead. Another commenter, CTO, sent two of hers to a laboratory and the red product tested extremely high for lead and the yellow one tested positive but much lower. Again, Emile Henry states that their product is lead- and cadmium-free. If I was making a decision based on color, I would probably avoid red and be comfortable with any other color, but most comfortable with white. This is such a mine field for us consumers, trying to wade through such conflicting information!
Farrah on January 03, 2015:
Silva ~ what are you thoughts of this Emile Henry baking dish? Is the colored one ok you think for lead free or leaching or should I stick to the white? Appreciate your help! I'm all new to this research...
Farrah on January 03, 2015:
Thanks MilaVD for you post .... "Someone has suggested stainless steel as an alternative in the comment field. It used to be safe but these days it's often made from scrap metal. Even when it isn't, it's still full of metals like chromium, nickel and manganese, that can cause allergy, learning disabilities and worse. Only cookware made of surgical steel is (supposed to be) safe. I'm switching to olive wood dinnerware now, only side effect is improved health :-)
Anyone have thoughts on the stainless steel pots/pans Kirkland brand from Costco?? We have a 3yr old and very concerned for her health and ours. Thanks!!
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on January 03, 2015:
I have emailed Peggy Karr Glass and asked about the lead or cadmium content.
Wow, what a scary thing to happen to you and your husband! I don't know; it might have been a combination of boiling and acid in the dish to cause the leaching of lead.
I will come back and post the answer when I receive it. Thanks for commenting!
Xpictinaki on January 03, 2015:
Two things: First what about glass dishes like Peggy Karr Glass?
Second: I accidentally poisoned my husband and myself when I was a newlywed because I was cooking a dish on the stove that called for weighing it down with a plate (common is some Greek cooking). The plate as it was being boiled with the food, leached out a significant amount into the food which we ate. We got woosy after eating, and I noticed the plate had a silver sheen to it, so we went to the hospital and got tests that showed the lead. Now I'm wondering if that might be an easy way to test dishes...but was it the boiling, the acid in the dish or some combo? Have you heard of this kind of testing?
Susan B on December 13, 2014:
No, non stick cookware is not safe to use. I believe that unglazed pottery specially tested and made for cooking on the stove and in the oven is the only sure safe cooking choice. Take a look at
I'm researching purchasing new cookware to replace my stainless steel set.
Annie89 on December 11, 2014:
Thanks, I'll keep checking back.
This has been a very helpful website you have set up, Thanx. o)..
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on December 10, 2014:
I don't have any info but hopefully someone else will respond.
Annie89 on December 10, 2014:
Does anyone know about the new oxo New Non-stick cookware from oxo Good Grip?
This is there lower line of there cookware, Its a rubber type of handle, that feels good in the hand. Although cheap.
This cookware has only been for sale for about 3 weeks.
I have there oxo new 12 inch open pan to do a review on.
The company makes excuses of why they cannot answer my questions, or I'm not asking the right ones o).
They do say its , BPA, PVC, and PFOA , FREE.
It's a shining type of non-stick.
The outside of the pan is, Hard-Anodized.
3 layer Non-stick,
When I called the Company, they said that William Sonoma sells this cookware, which is absolutely Not true.
The cookware is made in China..
Although the new catch word is, "Of Shore"!..
They did not want to say where its made, but finally did!!!
Anymore info on this cookware?
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on November 24, 2014:
Thank you, Carolyn! Yes, according to what I can find, the new FiestaWare is safe.
Carolyn on November 23, 2014:
According to Wikipedia on Fiesta dinnerware, "It has been found that past glazes have been radioactive or contained lead glazes, but these have been discontinued." Based on this I would assume that all new FiestaWare would be safe for purchase.
Thanks Silva for all this wonderful information. I've been checking the web for the past several days on lead content in dinnerware and have found the most useful information on this site.
Annie89 on November 10, 2014:
That is true about prop 65, but to my understanding there are not going to be any any dinnerware that is totally Lead and Cadmium free!
Or is there?
If so, what, and is it made in the USA ?
I'm also trying to buy, USA products.. and I do not mean products that the material comes from other countries, but is then made in the Usa.
I see where packaging on the box reads, Made in the USA, but the contents are not made in the USA.
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on November 09, 2014:
Thank you, Maria, you are correct. I have noticed that Gibson dinnerware has glaze that is easily scratched by cutlery, therefore allowing any lead to leach out. As a mosaic artist I am constantly trolling the thrift shops looking for beautiful and interesting plates to break, and I will not buy the Gibson brand, or any other that I suspect might contain lead and/or cadmium.
Maria s on November 09, 2014:
proposition 65 compliance does not mean the dishes are lead free, it means the levels of lead do not exceed the govement standards..... I just thre out 2 sets of gibson dinnerware because on the bottom of the dishes it stated complience with prop. 65. I called them and they confirmed that the dishes are not lead free!
Silva Hayes (author) from Spicewood, Texas on November 06, 2014:
I would stick with clear glass only. Thanks for the visit, Dave.
Dave on November 06, 2014:
You recommend using glass as much as possible, and I agree, but is tinted glass safe? Like those cobalt blue drinking glasses, are they safe? Or should we just stick with clear glass only? Thanks!