Lead is used as an ingredient in the glaze, or coating on ceramic bowls, dishes and pitchers. With proper firing, or heating in the kiln, glazes with lead may be safe. However, when dishes are fired incorrectly or when copper is added to the glaze, hazardous amounts of lead can transfer from dishes to food. This is referred to as “leaching”.
In order to be sure that dishes area safe enough for food, review the following guidelines: th surface that contacts food should be smooth and shiny, not rough or painted on top of the glaze. If dishes have the following “Not for Food Use” or “For Decorative Purposes Only”, do not use them for food. Do not store food in ceramic dishes or leaded crystal because of the possibility of lead leaching into the food or wine.
Lead test kits that are available in the marketplace can be used to test for lead in dishes, bowls and ceramic ware.