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  • Clean Living, Healthy Home

    Popular Vintage Dinnerware You Should Avoid

    toxins in dinnerware

    Today, dinnerware with traces of lead, cadmium and other toxins are legally allowed to be sold in the USA. Although the EPA and other health experts conclude that there is no safe amount of lead consumption (insert head scratch emoji), it wasn’t until the 1970’s that the FDA began testing dinnerware for safety (gasp!) which is one reason it is especially important to discontinue the use of vintage dinnerware.

    Below are a few brands you should definitely toss!

    Continue reading to learn how to tell if your dinnerware is toxin-free as well as precautions you can take to keep your family safe.

    Vintage Fiestaware

    Older Fiestaware contains extremely high, unsafe amounts of lead and some older Fiestaware even contains uranium! According to Tamara Rubin, Lead Safe Mama and Lead Advocate, not all of the new Fiesta pieces marked as “Lead Free” have been 100% lead-free. Some have tested positive for very low levels of lead, cadmium and arsenic. Read more on Tamara’s findings here.

    Vintage Corelle

    Older Corelle has been found to contain high amounts of lead, cadmium and other heavy metals – just as many vintage brands. The company advises consumers to discontinue the use of older dinnerware Corelle has advised against using their older (pre-2005) dinnerware due toxin concerns (learn more here). Additionally, according to the LeadSafeMama website, some newer Corelle patterns have been found to have concerning cadmium leverls in the decorative pattern. And their mugs – made from stoneware in China – are not always lead-free.

    Vintage Tupperware

    vintage tupperware

    Older Tupperware has been found to be contaminated with lead, cadmium, arsenic and other toxins linked to infertility and cancer, plus neurological and developmental disorders. In general, I avoid eating and drinking from plastic dinnerware due to health concerns related to the array of chemicals found in plastics. Plus, plastic takes a huge toll on our environment!

    Vintage Pyrex

    Vintage Pyrex bowls have VERY high amounts of lead, cadmium, arsenic and other heavy metals too. When tested with an XRF device in consumer goods mode, nearly all vintage Pyrex has contained extremely toxic amounts of heavy metals. Additionally, many bowls like the image above, now have chipping paint from years of use which means these chemicals are coming into contact with your food and you can bet you’ve ingested them too.

    Other Unsafe Dinnerware

    In general, be wary of glazes and paints used to decorate traditional pottery and ceramics from Mexico, China and other countries. These items may (and often do) contain lead, cadmium, and other toxins in their paints and glazes.

    How do I know if my dinnerware contains heavy metals?

    XRF Testing

    XRF testing is an excellent way to find out exactly what heavy metals your dinnerware contains. With that being said, it can be expensive and if you are using an XRF device, you must be sure you’ve been properly trained on how to use it. Tamara Rubin, Lead Safe Mama is an environmental activist and lead expert who tests goods for families throughout the country using an XRF device. Tamara published many of her findings on her website including the results of a variety of dinnerware options. Click here to see if your dishes have been tested!

    3M LeadCheck Swabs.

    Some vintage items will test positive for lead with a simple “swab test” using 3M LeadCheck swabs. This method is not nearly as precise as an XRF test or lab test, but it is an easy way for consumers to test bio-available amounts of lead in their household items – I always have 3M swabs on hand! Buy some from Amazon here!

    The 3M LeadCheck swabs are able to detect lead above 600 parts-per-million (ppm) by basically getting a bit of the dust or paint to rub off onto the test. Then, if over 600 ppm of lead is present, the swab will turn pink or red. However, it is important to note that just because a swab does not turn pink or red, does NOT mean there lead is not present. Often items will not swab positive, but when tested with an XRF device in consumer goods mode, these items contain much higher concentrations well above 600 ppm of lead. Therefore, do not assume your household dinnerware is safe if the 3M LeadCheck swab remains neutral.

    Contact the manufacturer.

    Reach out to the manufacturer and inquire about what materials were used in the production process. Ask if ANY lead, cadmium, arsenic or other heavy metals are present in the glaze, paint, or final product. You can also ask them to provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA report) which will show an analysis of the chemical makeup of a product.

    Purchase safe dinner options for your family.

    Without testing your dinnerware, there isn’t a tried and true way to determine if your dinnerware contains toxins. If you are unsure, I’d recommend purchasing dinnerware that you know is safe for your family which is what I originally did. Check out my recent post on Safe Dinnerware or visit my Amazon storefront for my favorite non-toxic products.

    Precautions to Take If You Choose To Keep Your Dinnerware 

    I HIGHLY recommend you toss any cookware that contains or may contain harmful chemicals. The potential risks are simply not worth it. With that being said, I understand not everyone is going to toss their aunt’s beloved China. So… if you do choose to keep your dinnerware, I would HIGHLY advise you to take the following precautions:

    • Consider purchasing new, safe dinnerware for your baby and children.
    • If you are pregnant, consider switching to safe dinnerware due to the damage these heavy metals and chemicals can have on your developing fetus.
    • Store leaded crystal and vintage items behind enclosed glass and out of a child’s reach.
    • Avoid microwaving.
    • Avoid storing hot or acid foods/beverages.
    • Avoid the dishwasher and hand-wash only.
    • Avoid using dinnerware that is scratched, pitted, or cracked.
    • Avoid stacking toxic dishes due to the friction causing the creation of lead dust.

    Something to ponder…

    Newly manufactured items “intended for use by children” containing 90 ppm of lead or higher in the finish, paint, or coating AND items containing 100 ppm of lead or higher in the substrate (underlying layers) is considered unsafe (and illegal). The problem with dinnerware is, somehow, these items are technically not “intended for use by children” and can contain unsafe levels of lead and other heavy metals (insert head scratching emoji here again!!). In my opinion, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

    Now, that we’ve covered four brands of vintage dinnerware you should definitely avoid, check out some of the safest, non-toxic dinnerware options for your family! And don’t forget to check out my post on toxins in dinnerware.

    Additional Reading Resources:

    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which does not cost you anything. I am not a medical professional and the information on this website is for informational purposes only. As always, check with your healthcare provider before starting any medical treatment. This blog has not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or methods mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment.

    Full Disclosure and Disclaimer here.

  • Clean Living, Healthy Home

    Helpful Environmental Websites To Consider When Moving To A New Home

    Neighborhood environments where we live have a significant impact on our overall health. Below is a guide of helpful websites you may want to consider as you search for your new home!

    Envirofacts, part of the EPA website, is a great website to learn about where you live (or where you would like to live!) You simply enter your address, city, or zip code and can view information related to the quality of air, water, land, radiation, waste, and other toxins of the area.

    Antenna Search is a great resource for locating antennas, towers, and future towers in the area.

    Home Facts is a website where you can view schools in your area, sex offenders, environmental hazards, property assessments, population information and other relative home info.

    EPA Water Quality Standards (State Specific) provides water quality standards that EPA has approved or are otherwise in effect for Clean Water Act purposes.  This compilation is continuously updated as EPA approves new or revised WQS.

    EWG Tap Water Database Tool is a helpful tool you can use to access what contaminates and chemicals linger in your water supply. Simply type in your zip code.

    RadNet Database provides near real time radiation exposure.

    Drilling Maps is where you can view oil and gas drilling locations throughout the area.

    Power Plants Map – Health, Safety, Pollution Issues is a website dedicated to creating awareness of various illnesses potentially caused by living in close proximity to power stations (gas, oil, coal, nuclear).

    Power Reactor Map shows a map of the national nuclear power reactors.

    National Pipeline is where you can see maps of pipelines in the area.

    EPA Superfund Map shows where superfunds are located nationwide as well as a map of the current related cleanup.

    Toxic Sites maps out superfunds nationwide.

    FloodFactor is a site where you can view current and past flood risks.

    PFAS Contamination in Water Systems Map provides information as to where PFAS have contaminated public and private water supplies.

    Carcinogen 1, 4 Dioxane Map shows where the chemical has spread via water systems nationwide.

    USA Military Base Guide provides locations of bases.

    Organic, Non-GMO Report – Glyphosate includes the first map that shows global hotspots of glyphosate contamination.

    Upstream Reports is a website where you can view environmental quality information surrounding your home and assess how hazardous it may be.

    Good Guide Chemical Profiles is a tool to help guide consumers to more informed buying decisions (the website is offline for now, but a good resource when they resurface).

  • Beauty, Clean Living, Healthy Home

    California’s Proposition 65: What you need to know

    californias proposition 65

    For those of you who are unfamiliar with California’s Proposition 65 regulations, the legislation that was passed in California “requires all businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm” which enables Californians to make more informed decisions and reduce chemical exposure when purchasing products for their home and workplaces. Whether you live in California or not, the chemicals listed are a cause for concern and should be avoided as much as possible.

    According to the California Proposition 65 website, the legislation…

    • Prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging the listed chemicals into sources of drinking water.
    • Requires California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Updated once per year, the list contains approximately 900 chemicals.
    • By law, the warning must be noted on products, unless there is no risk or the risk is far below the levels that could potentially cause reproductive harm or birth defects.
    • If a warning is present on a product, the business is aware or believes they are exposing the consumer to at least one (or more) of the harmful chemicals listed.

    Here’s where it gets a bit SKETCHY… Businesses that sell products nationwide, only have to list the warning on products SOLD IN California. Therefore, if you live in Illinois and purchase the exact same product, you may assume the product is safe, when in reality it contains the same harmful chemicals.

    Young children may be particularly susceptible to chemicals due to the fact that many of these chemicals are not illegal, even in children’s products, and because children often crawl on the floor and regularly mouth objects.

    What chemicals should I be aware of?

    All of the chemicals listed are important to be aware of in their own way and all can cause harm to our bodies and our children. Below are some of the most common chemicals to be aware of and ways you can protect your family.

    Concern: cancer, birth defects, and reproductive harm.
    Found in: tobacco smoke, canned goods, certain cereal, baked snacks, fried foods, bread crust, crackers, and cookies. Formed when frying, roasting, grilling, or baking. Boiling and steaming do not cause the formation of this chemical. The higher the frying temperature, the higher the amount of acrylamide.

    Arsenic (Inorganic)
    Concern: cancer (specially lung, bladder and skin), birth defects, and reproductive harm.
    Found in: tobacco smoke, some pressure treated wood, some herbal medicine, drinking water, crops, soil, and seafood.

    Bisphenol A (BPA)
    Concern: female reproductive harm including effects on ovaries and eggs.
    Found in: canned linings; paper receipts; plastic water bottles, utensils, plates, and kettles; plastics with recycle codes 3, 7, or PC; PVC and Vinyl.

    Concern: cancer including leukemia, reproductive harm, and birth defects.
    Found in: tobacco smoke, petroleum products, gasoline, exhaust, and emissions. Used to manufacture: plastics, chemicals, dyes, drugs, insecticides, rubber and more.

    Cadmium and Cadmium Compounds
    Concern: cancer (specially lung, prostate, and kidney), reproductive harm, and birth defects.
    Found in: cigarette and tobacco smoke, nickel-cadmium batteries, welding materials, inexpensive metal jewelry, shellfish, and small amounts have been found in crops and water.

    Concern: cause cancer including leukemia and cancers of the nose, throat, and sinuses.
    Found in: resins (urea-formaldhye) which can be present in Composite Wood (particle board, plywood, and fiberboard/MDF), flooring, shelves, doors, insulation, paints, hair products, tobacco smoke, permanent press clothing, linens, upholstery, gas stoves and car exhaust.

    Lead and Lead Compounds
    Concern: cancer, birth defects, reproductive harm, affect brain development, cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems. It has also been linked to Alzheimer’s in some studies.
    Found in: homes older than 1978 (generally, but can be found in new homes too), consumer goods including some pottery, crystal glasses, ceramics, purses, toys, garden hoses, jewelry, cosmetics, brass, lead-acid batteries, fishing weights, some candies, spices and supplements, drinking water delivered through lead pipes, tobacco smoke, soil, and bullets. Paint and gasoline can also contain lead although the allowable amounts have been removed or limited.

    Mercury and Mercury Compounds
    Concern: cancer, birth defects, reproductive harm, affect brain development, cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
    Found in: certain fish and seafood, silver dental fillings, fluorescent lights (CFL bulbs), some skin creams for aging, lightening or acne and some supplements.

    Chemicals that are added to plastics that make them flexible. The following phthalates are cause for concern as they may increase cancer risk, affect child development and cause reproductive harm.

    • BBP (Butyl benzyl phthalate)
    • DBP (Di-n-butyl phthalate)
    • DEHP (Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate)
    • DIDP (Di-isodecyl phthalate)
    • DINP (Diisononyl phthalate)
    • DnHP (Di-n-hexyl phthalate)

    The following products may contain these phthatates: some plastic lunchboxes, binders, backpacks, rain wear, purses, belts, footwear, PVC or vinyl products, plastic shower curtains, bath mats, garden hoses, tubing, perfumes, fragrances, nail polish, adhesives paints, plastic food packing, feeding tubes and medical devices.

    Flame Retardants and Chlorinated Tris
    Concern: flame retardants including chlorinated tris are known to cause cancer, reproductive harm, and developmental harm among many causes.
    Found in: polyurethane foam,cushions, couches, textile coatings, camping tents, and some children products containing polyurethane foam which may include strollers, bassinets, pillows, mats, and toys to name a few. Once Chlorinated Tris is released from a product, it can be found on floors, furniture, in the air, and on any surface surrounding the product.

    Look for the following labels under cushion covers and on the back of furniture:
    TB 117-2013  (sold after January 2015) products marked as “contain NO added flame retardant chemicals” do not contain significant levels of flame retardants. These are the ones you should try to purchase. TB 117  (sold prior to 2015) products labeled as so are more likely to contain flame retardants.

    Here’s how you can reduce your exposure to these chemicals…

    1. Do not smoke. Do not smoke around children or allow them to be exposed to smoke.
    2. Wash all fabrics before use.
    3. Open windows or use an air purifier during painting and when purchasing new formaldehyde containing furniture.
    4. Store in glass or stainless steel containers.
    5. NEVER microwave plastics.
    6. Avoid washing plastic in the dishwasher.
    7. Use a glass bottles instead of plastic when bottle feeding your baby.
    8. Use glass or stainless steel water bottles rather than plastic.
    9. Choose products made from cotton, wool, natural latex, or made with untreated polyurethane foam. 
    10. Look for “Not Treated with Flame Retardants” or “Not Flame Resistant”.
    11. Replace crumbling or torn furniture and children’s products that contain foam.
    12. Avoid carpet padding made from recycled polyurethane foam.
    13. Wash your child’s hands and your hands prior to eating and preparing meals.
    14. Dust regularly with a wet cloth.
    15. Vacuum often with a HEPA filter.
    16. Wash floors regularly.
    17. Do not idle cars in garages.
    18. Maintain cooler temperatures as formaldehyde is released when it is hot and humid.
    19. Choose true solid wood furniture or stainless steel or choose a lower formaldehyde releasing product labeled as California Air Resources Board (CARB) Phase 2 compliant, Ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde (ULEF), No-added urea formaldehyde (NAUF) or No-added formaldehyde (NAF).
    20. Avoid furniture made with urea-formaldehyde resins that does not carry a California Air Resources Board (CARB) Phase 2 compliant label.
    21. Buy used. Formaldehyde “off-gasses” overtime.
    22. Avoid pressure-treated wood.
    23. Apply a latex paint or formaldehyde blocking paint.
    24. Eat more fresh food rather than canned, if possible.
    25. Limit consumption of fried and grilled foods.
    26. Use alternatives to rice-based foods in your child’s diet.
    27. Soaking & Cooking Potatoes: Soak raw potato slices in water for 15-30 minutes before frying or roasting. Cook to golden yellow color rather than golden brown. Do not store raw potatoes in the fridge.

    More information on California’s Proposition 65

    1. Complete up-to-date Proposition 65 List of Chemicals
    2. Fact Sheets include tips on how you can reduce your exposure to the specific chemicals listed.
    3. Petroleum product warnings.
    4. Learn how chemicals are added to the list.

    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.

  • Clean Living, Healthy Home

    The Toxic Item You Use Everyday

    TEFLON: America’s Dream or America’s Nightmare?
    The True Story.

    Years ago, I’ll never forget when my now-husband was flabbergastered that I was stirring my pasta with a stainless steel fork… in the Teflon pot. I thought he was crazy and had no idea the health impact I was truly causing.

    What did he know about cooking anyway? After giving him the sarcastic “side eye”, I continued to swirl. Little did I know, the pot itself was leaching toxic chemicals and with every knick, scratch, and stir even more chemicals were being released into my delicious Italian cuisine and then… again later when I cooked our next meal for days, weeks, months, and years to come.

    Imagine my surprise, years later I came across the award-winning documentary, “The Devil We Know”, which confirmed everything I had known, but didn’t want to acknowledge. Teflon. Is. Toxic.

    As mentioned in ‘The Devil We Know’, according to numerous studies…

    • “It only takes 2-5 minutes on a stove top for Teflon cookware to overheat and create toxic particles and gases, according to numerous studies.” Source: EWG
    • “American babies are born pre-polluted with more than 200 chemicals in their blood, 180 of which are known to cause cancer in humans or animals.” Source: EWG
    • Drinking water is the primary route of exposure [to PFOA chemicals] in some populations, but exposure sources are not well understood. PFOA has been used to manufacture such products as Gore-Tex and Teflon. PFOA does not break down in the environment.” Source: National Center for Biotechnical Information.
    • “The chemical used in Telfon has been linked to 6 diseases including testicular and kidney cancers.Source: New York Times

    From “The Devil We Know”: The Chemistry of a Cover Up
    “When a handful of West Virginia residents discover DuPont has been pumping its poisonous Teflon chemical into the air and public water supply of more than 70,000 people, they file one of the largest class action lawsuits in the history of environmental law.” The chemical caused cancer, death, and birth defects in unborn children of pregnant workers among other devastating consequences. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), “99% of American’s have the toxic chemical, PFOA, in their blood, including babies. This is the chemical used to make Teflon.” It didn’t stop there though, the spread of PFAS chemicals has gone global to China and beyond. FACT: PFOA is one of more than 80,000+ untested chemicals that have been approved for use, their dangers unknown.”

    What can I use instead of toxic Teflon Cookware?

    Stainless steel, clear glass, and cast iron are safe options. Avoid ceramic due to possible lead contamination in the glaze. Avoid aluminum due to harmful health hazards it poses as it has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s among other things. I also avoid GMO oils.

    • STAINLESS STEEL: As long as it is 100% stainless steel, it should be safe to use. Calphalon, Cuisinart, and All-Clad are brands I use and recommend.
    • CAST IRON: For the best of the best, I love and recommend Finex. This skillet in particular is perfect for our everyday cooking needs. While I do recommend and use this Lodge Cast Iron skillet as well, I strip and reseason Lodge Cast Iron with organic flax seed oil before use due to the original seasoning containing GMOs. Both of these brands are made in the USA.
    • GLASS: We use this Pyrex baking tray in the oven all the time and it works great! Typically, clear glass without any writing is best, as oftentimes the writing on glass can contain lead or cadmium.
      What about Coringware Visions Cookware? Visions Cookware is perfect for the stove top, but unfortunately after rigorous XRF testing by Lead Safe Mama, Tamara Rubin, some of them have tested positive for low amounts of lead and therefore, I cannot recommend them here.

    What other products besides pots and pans use PFAS chemicals?

    PFAS chemicals are found in water-proof, stain-proof, and wrinkle-proof clothing, furniture, home goods, carpeting, food packaging, and even dental floss! Worst of all they have contaminated our drinking water and our air! Fortunately more and more brands are starting to phase out these chemicals as their toxic effects become more prevalent.

    Which brands and products are PFAS-Free?

    Below are several brands and/or products that are free of PFAS chemicals, according to For the full list of brands and products thus far, click here.

    For the full list, click here.

    Learn more about PFAS…

    Looking for safe, non-toxic products? View our favorite products here!

    This post contains affiliate links. Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.