TEST YOUR CERAMICWARE FOR LEAD
Lead can leach form ceramicware and be ingested with food or
drink prepared or served in it. Children are especially
susceptible and pregnant women are at high risk.
A child may absorb as much as 50 percent of the lead
introduced into the gastrointestinal tract. Adults can absorb up
to 10 percent.
Symptoms of lead poisoning often mask those of other
illnesses. They include headache, abdominal pain, irritability,
weakness, discomfort and paleness. With increasing exposure, the
brain swells and often hemorrhages, which can induce convulsion or
Foreign-made ceramicware is especially suspect. Makers of
ceramicware use lead to create bright surface colors. If the
application is done incorrectly it is not impermeable and will
leach out into food or drink. Liquid acidic foods are the ones
most likely to case the leaching. These include tomatoes, orange
or apple juice, wine, coffee, and foods containing vinegar.
You can convert any suspect ceramicware into strictly
decorative pieces, have your ceramicware tested commercially or
purchase a kit to test it yourself. One source of such a kit is:
Frandon Enterprises Inc., Box 300312, Seattle 98103.
(206) 633-2341. To test a ceramic piece with a kit:
* Pour household vinegar into each piece of ceramicware and
let it stand for 24 hours.
* Pour the liquid that has been standing into a plastic
container and add a drop or two of the test solution that comes
with the kit.
If lead has leached from your test piece, the solution will
turn anywhere from yellow to dark brown or black. The darker the
solution the higher the lead content.
Submitted by; Ronald Barker