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I fell down the rabbit hole of lead dinnerware....


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I didn't know it was still legal to put lead or cadmium in dinnerware.  Apparently it is, and I've spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out how bad my Williams Sonoma Pantryware line of dinnerware is.  They have a lead-free section of their site and my dishes aren't in it so I don't suspect the news is good.

I see some Ikea and Corelle sets, as well as newer Fiestaware seem safe.  Is there anything else I should know?

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I love white Corelle. After having bought several brands through the years, I’m going to stay with these. They are durable, safe, and lightweight. They stack the best in the dishwasher. They also do not get marked up and look good as new for years. Duralex is another good choice. Love Fiestaware but dh scrapes his plate when he eats and marks them up. And they are heavy. So I only have colorful Fiestaware mugs for tea. They supposedly don’t leach lead. I recently bought Duralex drinking glasses. I love them. Duralex is lead free and super durable. 

 

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I also switched to white Corelle. I absolutely love it, lightweight, durable, doesn't take up space. In over 5 years, many toddlers, and me being so clumsy I probably drop at least 1 plate a day, we have only ever had 1 plate break. 

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I fell down this exact rabbit hole some years ago and opted for IKEA 365 series. Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, the series is not being made anymore but you could check if they have something else that's comparable.

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I get dishes from a restaurant supply store.  Easy to get more if one breaks.  They are white but easy to "accessorize" on a table if I want to be fancy but just plain if I don't.  I have to admit that I am one of those (apparently strange) people who don't like Corelle.  I like something with more substance and heft to it. 

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7 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

I get dishes from a restaurant supply store.  Easy to get more if one breaks.  They are white but easy to "accessorize" on a table if I want to be fancy but just plain if I don't.  I have to admit that I am one of those (apparently strange) people who don't like Corelle.  I like something with more substance and heft to it. 

The point isn't to just replace the dishes I love, it's to get something lead free.

It will probably end up being fiestaware.  In white because DH.

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The white IKEA 365 is still being made; it's just been out of stock a lot this year (like a lot of IKEA things).  We have their larger bowls for soup.

It's made from feldspar porcelain.  It's listed as "no cadmium or lead added". 

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14 hours ago, maize said:

White corelle is also my favorite.

yes - and it is fine for everyday but also looks elegant enough for special occaisions, etc if you set a fancy table. 

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3 hours ago, Katy said:

The point isn't to just replace the dishes I love, it's to get something lead free.

It will probably end up being fiestaware.  In white because DH.

?  I wasn't suggesting any dishes that have lead in them.  I was just sharing the lead free dishes I have and like since others were sharing what they have and like.  My mistake. 

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I don’t have any other safe dishes to add, but thank you for sharing.  I changed out my dishes to my mom’s 1990’s Willow Churchill England china back in January.  I’ve been meaning to check them for lead and it kept slipping my mind.  I did a google after seeing your post and found out they tested 40,000+/-1,000ppm for lead.😱

DS and I just ran to Walmart and bought 2 sets of white Corelle.  We have had too many new neurological symptoms this year to play around with lead dishes.  Hive mind for the win!

 

ETA: What does one do with a full set of lead china?  I’m not one to display and not use either. 🤔

Edited by WoolC
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I bought a new Correlle set some years back. I did pick a pattern, but it's a set where the different kinds of plates have different patterns with a common color scheme. I bought extras too. It would be easy enough to add in a different pattern with the same color scheme if I run out of my extras. 

Edited by G5052
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41 minutes ago, athena1277 said:

I haven’t really thought of this before.  How do you even find out if your dishes have lead in them?  Should I be concerned about things besides plates and bowls?

Hardware stores sell spot testing kits. You can run a swab across stuff. It turns colors of positive.

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6 hours ago, WoolC said:

I don’t have any other safe dishes to add, but thank you for sharing.  I changed out my dishes to my mom’s 1990’s Willow Churchill England china back in January.  I’ve been meaning to check them for lead and it kept slipping my mind.  I did a google after seeing your post and found out they tested 40,000+/-1,000ppm for lead.😱

DS and I just ran to Walmart and bought 2 sets of white Corelle.  We have had too many new neurological symptoms this year to play around with lead dishes.  Hive mind for the win!

 

ETA: What does one do with a full set of lead china?  I’m not one to display and not use either. 🤔

I don't know.  I also have a set of formal china and a set of antique ironstone that I imagine are high in lead as well.  I have the Ironstone platters on the wall, but the rest...  I can't imagine using it again.  The ironstone is SO pretty, it's going to take me a while to want to give it away.  Still, I have an open floor plan and we collect art, so I don't have a lot of wall space left to display anything else.  Unless I want to go for clutter-chic.

4 hours ago, athena1277 said:

I haven’t really thought of this before.  How do you even find out if your dishes have lead in them?  Should I be concerned about things besides plates and bowls?

I stumbled on a facebook post that made me start googling.  There are sites if you know your sets origin and rough age.  I guess it's complicated, because while newer white correlle is fine with plates and bowls, the coffee cups are made of a different china that does have lead.

I got swabs at Home Depot today (they have curbside pickup).  When the little kids are in bed I'm going to start swabbing. I suspect on my every day dishes the glaze is safe, but the places the glaze has warped are probably not.

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3 hours ago, Katy said:

I guess it's complicated, because while newer white correlle is fine with plates and bowls, the coffee cups are made of a different china that does have lead.

What???  No!!!   This is not good news.

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I swabbed a chipped plate, a place where the glaze was warped, an ironstone plate (without cracks in the glaze), and the fancy china. They were all negative except the china, which turned pink immediately. Not surprising with a colorful pattern and a gold rim. 

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24 minutes ago, Katy said:

They were all negative except the china, which turned pink immediately. Not surprising with a colorful pattern and a gold rim. 

Oh, dear.  Now I definitely need to pick up a testing kit.  

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7 hours ago, klmama said:

What???  No!!!   This is not good news.

Yeah. The coffee cups are like any other glazed mug. They are not made of the same material the plates and bowls are. Waaay back in the 80’s, the mugs once were made from the same material and were safe. 

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It makes me scratch my head that we actually have to worry about lead in our dishes and our casseroles exploding when it doesn’t have to be this way. Fiestaware gets it right and Europe is still making thermal shock resistant bakeware. This is nuts.

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10 minutes ago, Indigo Blue said:

It makes me scratch my head that we actually have to worry about lead in our dishes and our casseroles exploding when it doesn’t have to be this way. Fiestaware gets it right and Europe is still making thermal shock resistant bakeware. This is nuts.

Right.  They've known about lead in dishes since I was a kid.  I thought they'd stopped using it since then.

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3 hours ago, bethben said:

I too got a bunch of fiesta ware 3-4 years ago and have switched it out again with my white Corelle.  

Why?  

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I did the same. I LOVE Fiestaware but dh is just so rough on plates. They got nickel marks so bad and it just looked awful. I got it off with BonAmi, but it just came right back. I love the way they are so thick and nice, but they were getting increasingly cumbersome for me as I’m getting older. You can easily lift a stack of six Corelle plates, but six Fiestaware plates are heavy. Since Corelle isn’t too expensive, I just picked up some. Sigh. Corelle  is what I had when we first got married. My children both have white Corelle so at least one day they can split it up. 

At one point I had some Mikasa. Now I’ll just keep the Corelle indefinitely. I’m done. 

However, I do have six Fiestaware mugs in various colors and they are for tea. I love those. 

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10 hours ago, Katy said:

. Not surprising with a colorful pattern and a gold rim. 

 

8 hours ago, klmama said:

Right.  They've known about lead in dishes since I was a kid.  I thought they'd stopped using it since then.

There were many toy recalls due to lead.
https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls?combine=lead+toys&field_rc_date[date]=&field_rc_date_1[date]=

The most famous one is the Thomas the Tank Engine massive recall of their red trains.

https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/News-Releases/2010/RC2-Corp-to-Pay-125-Million-Civil-Penalty-Thomas--Friends-Wooden-Railway-Toys-Recalled-Due-to-Violation-of-Lead-Paint-Ban

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7 hours ago, bethben said:

I too got a bunch of fiesta ware 3-4 years ago and have switched it out again with my white Corelle.  

Your thread on this 3-4 years ago is what ‘encouraged’ 😬 me into buying new dishes! I got white fiesta ware...I think that’s what you bought as well if I remember correctly. I still love mine. I got the bistro style though, not the original. 
 

I went with this:

https://m.kohls.com/product/prd-2576621/fiesta-bistro-3-pc-dinnerware-set.jsp?prdPV=1&userPFM=fiesta bistro&diestoreid=231&selectShip=true

and these mugs

I especially love the mugs because they’re perfect for soup, which I eat all the time  

 

Edited by mmasc
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6 hours ago, Katy said:

Why?  

The stupid simple answer—-we had to get a new dishwasher and it doesn’t fit in the slots!  They’re too close together.  We still use the bowls because they are a good size for soups.  So, moral of the story?  Fiestaware is nice, but make sure it fits into your dishwasher.

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