When Dr. Gerald F. O’Malley began work last summer in the department of emergency medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, he took a walk around nearby Chinatown and noticed the variety of elaborately adorned pottery for sale.
The answer, he and a group of researchers has found, is yes. While the ceramics’ sources are not yet known — and neither is the extent of their distribution — the contamination that Dr. O’Malley and his group found in the cooking and eating utensils appeared to be severe enough to cause health problems. (read more—Lead Contamination Found in Ceramic Pottery – NYTimes.com.)
Frequently we are asked in our gallery if our pottery is lead free. Even though I have already reassured them that our functional stoneware is food (oven, microwave, dishwasher and freezer) safe. But it’s not a stupid question, and I encourage them, and you, to ask.
Pottery made in this country and labeled food safe is. Anything made outside the US should be investigated. Language differences and middle men who handle the sale and resale of items often cause the vital information to be badly translated or lost.
Always ask. When in doubt, don’t put food on it.