How sure are you that the plates and bowls you are using for your meals are free from lead? Lead contamination of food by tainted ceramic ware is a potentially serious problem. As you may know, lead is a toxic metal which can damage the nervous system and may cause blood poisoning. It is especially dangerous to children whose young bodies are still developing.
Lead glazes are mostly used on porcelains like earthenware and bone china, especially the older varieties. Although ceramic ware can be prepared properly in order to prevent lead from leaching through the glaze, defective ones may leak lead and contaminate your food.
It’s a good thing that many manufacturers nowadays make dinnerware without lead. Most of their products are also properly identified on the label as lead-free. Looking for labels like these can help you choose non-toxic ceramic ware for your family in the future. Nonetheless, it still important to check the items that you already have at home.
Tips to prevent contamination of food by lead-tainted ceramic ware
1. To ensure that a dinnerware set is safe, check if it is clearly labeled “lead-free” or “non-toxic” before buying it.
2. Avoid using older generation ceramic ware. In the past, guidelines on product safety may not have been as stringent as today’s, so lead was most likely used on old ceramics. To be safe, just keep those family heirloom chinaware in the display cabinets.
3. Don’t keep food and drinks in damaged, peeling or corroded chinaware. Glazing that has worn away is a sign that the ceramic ware is unsafe because the lead is no longer sealed in.
Click here for more tips on preventing contamination of food with lead.