So, somehow I only recently discovered that there can be lead in dinnerware glazes. Oh, and bathtubs too. Awesome.
Now, before you go throwing out all of your fancy wedding gifts, breathe. There’s an easy and cheap way to put your mind at ease!
I worried for a while about the dishes that we use every day from IKEA, mainly because they are SO stinking cheap. I did a bunch of research, read a lot of blogs that contradicted each other, and finally just bought this guy in order to test the stuff myself.
I was a bit concerned that the test wasn’t specifically for porcelain, but figured I would give it a try because it seemed rational to me that if it can detect lead in plaster it should be able to do the same for porcelain, and the friendly employee agreed.
I bought mine at Home Depot, but you can also order them HERE from Amazon.
You pinch each end, shake, and rub the tip on the surface you are wanting to test. And, BAM, instant results. Some lead tests will stain the surface you are testing, but this one doesn’t, which is a nice perk.
PINK or RED indicates the presence of lead:
I was SUPER excited to find that our beloved cheapo porcelain dishes (18 pieces for $35!!) tested completely lead free, as well as a few other bowls I’ve collected from garage sales and Target clearance shelves. The IKEA dishes are their 365 line, and I just picked up 2 more boxes to have on hand for holidays.
However, our lovely cast iron tub from 1971 did not fare so well. It wasn’t the greatest tub ever, but it is 500 lbs, cast iron, and in good shape (just dirty).
It’s quite common for tubs manufactured pre 1978 to contain lead in the porcelain glaze, which can be absorbed by your body and ingested by drinking bath water. Your kids, not you (hopefully.)
Anyhow, I was sad to see one of the only things that we were keeping from this entire home go, but health is of utmost importance to me. I mean, what’s the point of having a whole house water filter if there’s lead leeching into the water through the tub?
Fortunately my husband found a Kohler cast iron tub at a clearance warehouse for $139. Re-glazing bath tubs is also an option if replacing yours isn’t.
If you are looking to replace your current dishes, I would recommend searching for some that are advertised as “lead free” but there are only a few out there. New Fiesta Dinnerware is one. However, this test was encouraging to me because I would think that if cheap IKEA stuff is safe, most of the others out there are as well. I would also assume that you would be able to return anything you purchased if it were to test positive.
Alright, sorry to give you one more thing to think about, just looking out for ya!
live well. be well.