Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dinnerware Dilemma, Part 2: Would you like some cancer with that?

While searching online for a new set of dishes I came across something quite scary and sobering. I found a set of dinnerware with a warning statement! This set of Cream Dream Dinnerware comes with this warning in the product description - WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity. What!? Can someone tell me how it's legal to sell dishes that contain cancer causing materials? I can't imagine that any manufacturer would knowingly make and sell food-related products that are potentially hazardous. This is really disturbing. It causes me to wonder how many dishes that we use everyday contain these same dangerous materials? Does this mean we're serving up toxins to our family every night at dinner?

I did a little digging and found one article where the CDC warned about dangerous lead levels on dinnerware. Then I found an equally upsetting bit of news on SpringerLink about radiation emissions from uranium-glazed dinnerware. But neither came with an accompanying list of manufacturers. Good grief! I see statements that explain while most agree that high concentrations of lead-containing dinnerware is rare, low-level concentrations of lead are allowable. There's an extensive list of low-lead china patterns, but it's not been updated since 2001. I can't imagine why someone hasn't seen fit to keep this list current. I don't know about you, but I really don't want to serve up a side dish of lead on any occasion! Seriously, does any of us want just a little bit of cancer? Or a tiny hint of neurological disorder?

The Environmental Defense Fund has great information here about lead in china dishes. I'm planning to use their buyers guide as I seek out my new dinnerware set. The buyers guide link also has a list of manufacturer phone numbers to call and ask if the dishware you already own contains lead, uranium or other hazardous chemicals. If you don't see your manufacturer listed here, you can always purchase a lead test kit to see if your dishes are safe.

All this is making me lose my appetite and then some. I'm off to find some healthy alternatives for safe dinnerware. I'll share my findings with you in my next post. In the meantime, I urge you to look into the links above and see if your dinnerware is safe for you and your family. My guess is that your standards, like mine, are alot more strict than the governments when it comes to the health and safety of your family.


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