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Can I get lead poisoning from glazed pottery kitchenware?

Each year a number of people die or become seriously ill from lead poisoning caused by the lead that leaches out of improperly glazed pottery kitchenware. In the law of some countries, glazed pottery designed for culinary use must be fired at a high enough temperature to fuse the lead component of the glaze into the container permanently. Some glazed kitchenware pottery that is brought in illegally, or in the hands of returning tourists, falls well short of the standards. If used to store or cook foods (and especially highly acidic foods), the lead will likely migrate from the walls of the vessel to those of the diner's stomach. This lead buildup in the body can cause damage to internal organs as well as to the immune, cardiovascular, and other systems. Children can also suffer learning and behavioral disorder.

The type of tin cans that are sealed with lead solder are another potential source of lead poisoning. It is a sound policy never to store a high-acid food such as grapefruit juice in an open can. Instead, transfer the contents to a glass jar or similar unleaded, non-corrosive vessel.

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04:42:53 on 06/19/07 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -