Testing for Lead in pottery glaze

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It used to be common to use lead in pottery glaze. Pottery by itself is porous, so if the piece is meant to hold liquid then it needs to be glazed. Lead offers some advantages which the individual potter might like. But lead is also dangerous to ones health, and is especially a concern for children exposed to lead. The dangers come when you ingest lead into your body.

Understanding the danger

Lead alert facts: lead in ceramics (Australian Department of the Environment and Heritage) Lead glazes used in ceramic ware can be a health hazard, affecting the intellectual development of young children. Poisoning can occur if the lead leaches into your food or drink.

Avoid Lead Glazed Pottery (Houston Texas Department of Health and Human Services)

Hazards in Ceramics (Goshen College) Covers all known hazards in Ceramics. For example, Uranium Oxide was used as a pigment, resulting in radioactive pottery.

How Your Home Can Make You Sick ... or Kill You Lead (doityourself.com) A general overview of health hazards in the home, and what you can do about them.

Health & Safety in the Arts (Tuscon Arizona) General "database" of hazards in making or using various art or crafts objects.

Lead in Pottery in Washington State (Washington State Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program)

California Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch (California Department of Health)

Did We Learn From Lead? (ceramicmaterials.info)

Ceramics Guide For Baking, Roasting, Serving, Storing (Fantes Kitchen Wares Shop)

Can you get lead poisoning from old dishes? (The Straight Dope)

Lead Poisining (Yahoo Health)

Lead Poisoning (California Posion Action Line)

Lead in Drinking Water (HispanicHealth.org)

Testing for lead

LEAD INSPECTOR

LeadCheck

[amazon-item:B0001IKY5W|Paint Lead Test Kit] The first step to protecting your family. 38 million homes have lead paint in them. Is your home one of them? Fast, accurate and reliable lead test for you home. Determine what action to take in your paint removing project. Check out the Silent Paint Remover for safe lead paint removal.

  • Fast, accurate, and reliable lead test
  • Can be used to test lead on toys, china, furniture, etc.
  • 38 Million homes have lead paint. Check if you do.
  • Before removing paint, check if you have lead.
  • Up to 4 tests per kit.

Making foodsafe pottery

MAKING FOODSAFE WARE (Dalzell Crafts and Ceramics)

Classroom Ceramics (Laguna Clay) This is a supply house offering kilns, clay, glazes etc for art classes. The page discusses in great detail how to do safe pottery.

Art Safety Training Guide (Princeton University)