Think Twice Before Using Your Vintage Corelle Dishes Everyday

It’s not unusual to find a set of Corelle dishes and tableware in the cabinet. It may have been acquired when we equipped the cottage we bought up north, or it could have come from a thrift store or garage sale. We had these since college, and they were nearly indestructible. It seems like a family member because of the decades-long bond.

However, the long lifespan of some of this dishware may work against them. Here’s why you may not want to eat from older Corelle dishes—and what you can do to find out if yours is safe.

There Is A Problem With The Paint Used To Create The Decorative Patterns.

First, this is not a new issue. Reports of lead in dinnerware goes back decades. There are many publications that cover lead in Corelle dishes and other cookware. 

The production procedure (and how it has evolved over the last many decades). Many companies used lead-based paints on their products before the FDA placed restrictions on the amount of lead that may be used in tableware. Those restrictions just went into effect around 40 years ago, so if you have a set of dishes from before 1980, the paint may contain lead. You can ingest lead if the paint leaches, which means it crumbles, flakes off, or combines with the food.

We don’t need to tell you that lead has some nasty side effects. It is especially hazardous to children. A safe amount of lead in the body does not exist. So, while lead poisoning from dishes isn’t as dangerous,

Why Is Lead Or Cadmium Found In Dinnerware?

As you may be aware, the earth’s crust is composed of a number of metals. Some are helpful to humans, while others are harmful. Toxic metals like lead and cadmium have been discovered in soil and dust all around the world.

Both lead and cadmium are utilized in the production of tableware. Lead is utilized in glazes to strengthen them, and cadmium gives dishes their red color. These compounds have been phased out of many items due to health concerns; nevertheless, they can still be found in older dishes such as Corelle ware.

Is It Acceptable To Use My Corelle Dishes?

The good news is that determining if your dishes are lead-free is simple.

The bad news is that you can’t tell if your Corelle dishes are lead-free. That’s right: the only way to find out whether your dishes have dangerous amounts of lead is to send them to a lab for testing. And, while it may appear to be an annoyance, the fact is that you have nothing to lose by taking this exam—except potentially something valuable: your health! Exposure to lead, even in small amounts can result in many health issues, including depression.

So, what are your options? The simplest answer is to replace any possibly hazardous Corelle tableware with something else. If you want a more permanent solution, you may get a test kit from your local hardware shop. Keep in mind that these simple test kits only point out that lead is leaching from the plate or ovenware at that moment in time. 

How Do You Determine Whether Your Dishes Are Lead-Free?

There are various ways to ensure that your Corelle dish is free of lead.
Use a lead test kit for dinnerware to determine whether your Corelle tableware contains lead. While it cannot provide precise levels of lead or cadmium, it can identify their presence.

You may also look out websites and organizations that test cookware. Lead Free Mama is one of them. While her testing procedures ruffle some feathers among dish collectors, they are sound. The author of the site includes a list of many different Corelle dish patterns that contain lead in the designs.

Using only pure white Corelle tableware is the best way to avoid lead exposure. Decorate with gorgeous antique Corelle tableware or display it in your china cabinet.

How Could Lead Have Gotten Into My Meals Through My Dishes?

But how can lead and cadmium end up in your food? It’s not like the dishes are attacking. There are a few things you can take to ensure that your food does not contain lead or cadmium by mistake.

When lead-containing dishes are heated over 350°F (when the dish itself contains more than 5% lead), they leak more metals into meals than when cooked at lower temperatures.

In 1996, researchers conducted a study on pre-1950s US-made ceramic dinnerware collected from antique stores and flea markets. They observed unsafe lead concentrations (>3 microg/ml) in microwave leachates from dishes with uranium-containing glazes, copper-containing glazes, and floral over-the-glaze designs. According to the study’s findings, using such plates to microwave popular dishes may result in excessive lead ingestion.

What Dinnerware Is Lead and Cadmium-Free?

There’s an easy technique to find out how much lead is in your tableware if you’re concerned. First, if it was produced after 2005, it is most likely safe. Then, on the bottom of the plate, check for “Made in USA.” If it says that, you may be confident that it was created using safe techniques and materials.

Lead should not leach from properly prepared ceramics. The lead, however, may leak out if the dishes are not thoroughly hardened and covered. Furthermore, glazes used prior to FDA regulations included higher amounts of lead. Lead poisoning may be harmful to your health over time, especially in children and pregnant women.

Is It Just Vintage Corelle Dishes That Have Issues?

No! According to a Smithsonian Magazine article, old Fiestaware, the brilliant and most popular collector brand of ceramic dinnerware made from 1936 to 1973, contains uranium and is radioactive.

Owners of Vintage Corelle Dishes Are Worried About Lead Poisoning.

Not only are older Corelle dishes prone to lead contamination. Any dinnerware created before the 1970s was almost definitely made in China or another nation where lead-painted tableware was common.
Lead and cadmium were employed as glazes on tableware because they were inexpensive, durable, and simple to apply. Although the FDA prohibited lead from all food packaging and utensils in 2010, it is still used in some countries because to its low cost and availability in comparison to safer alternatives such as porcelain or ceramic ware with non-toxic glazes.

If you wash dishes with food residue on them, or if you use detergents containing phosphates, which may leach out into meals when heated, lead may contaminate the food in your dishwasher (or sink).

LSM Tested All Vintage Corelle Dishes For Lead

Lead-free Mama delivers excellent service. The blog’s creator has been working on this issue for some years, and her efforts appear to be ongoing. However, we shall not be using these archaic dishes. I’m glad to discover this piece of food safety information that appears to have gone unnoticed by others.

From Lead Safee Mama

Click here for more information about the Lead found in this and other vintage plates: Due to concerns about high levels of lead, Corelle® suggests using their pre-2005 dishes as “decorative pieces.”

“Thank you for contacting Corelle Brands. Prior to the 1990s, virtually all glass and ceramic ware made anywhere in the world contained Lead as a primary ingredient in the decorating fluxes and glazes. All our products have been Lead-free since the mid-2000s. Lead content has never been regulated until recently. We recommend using the items you have as decorative pieces. We hope this information is helpful.”

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