Dinner Plates On Walmart Shelves Contain Lead

What are you feeding your children tonight? How about a hearty helping of lead? KUTV did a followup on their report yesterday about lead in dinner plates. Their investigative reporter bought more plates from Walmart. After heating them to 85 degrees, the plates leached out lead at .381 parts per million. The plates were made in China. The government says that anything below 2.0 is acceptable. But unlike a toy where you’re mainly just coming in skin contact with the toy, with a plate, the lead is actually seeping into the food and you’re eating it.

Lead Plates Followup: Utah Wants To Know! [KUTV] (Thanks to Jay!)
PREVIOUSLY: Baby Poisoned By Lead-Tainted Walmart Plates


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  1. 7j6cei says:


    I can’t take all the lead paint stories anymore!!!! PLEASE MAKE IT STOP, ALL THINGS FROM CHINA HAVE LEAD PAINT AND YOU ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!

    There, I fell better now. Have a great day. ;-)

  2. stevemis says:

    Let’s call these Pblates.

  3. Meg Marco says:

    @stevemis: I like you.

  4. ptkdude says:

    OMG! I have plates from Wal-Mart! No wonder I’ve been so retarted lately.

  5. stevemis says:

    These abuses will NOT stop until US executive management is held accountable for their actions or inactions. Do you think this would be a problem if importing/selling lead-contaminated products was illegal?

    If the CEO’s of these companies were criminally liable for these violations, they would either pull manufacturing from China, inspect their products after manufacturing or put a safety/compliance person in every sweatshop to watch for this. Until then, they will continue to put profits above safety.

  6. BigNutty says:

    Does anyone else think that this has been going on for years, even when we were kids, but now with the advanced technology we are able to detect lead much easier in everything?

    Do you really think that China decided to add lead to everything they produce now? This lead thing is turning into the Black Plague of the past.

    I’m much more concerned with the recycled condoms.

  7. jwcone says:

    Why is there lead in the paint anyway — what purpose does it have? I mean that is just nuts

  8. ogremustcrush says:

    This is useless. .38 ppm will never hurt anyone. Lead in plates is bad, but quantities this small could be from small impurities in other materials.

  9. ogremustcrush says:

    Oh, and these were almost certainly different plates than were cited in the lead poisoning story yesterday. .38 ppm of lead will not cause lead poisoning.

  10. jwcone says:

    well so are they saying lead in the body is good for you? Judas Priest people — they are just saying that .38 won’t cause lead poisoning — ok so it won’t kill your or make you deadly ill BUT it still isn’t good for you — you know eating one minute grain of rat poison may not kill you or make you violently ill but is still isn’t good for you.

  11. Jasmo says:

    I can’t wait till you find out the shocking dirty truth that there is lead in leaded crystal glassware.

  12. Parting says:

    Isn’t lead damages your brain in the long run?

  13. Parting says:

    @7j6cei: I don’t think it kills you, more like drives you crazy and screws your health.

  14. Melsky says:

    @jwcone: Lead makes the paint colors stay on longer.

  15. mantari says:

    That yellow plate that looks italian with green trim? (Especially shown in their first video.) Yeah. I was begged into buying that yesterday. I was going to buy 12 place settings, but I just tried out 4, for now. They’re all going back tomorrow. Thanks, Consumerist!

    I was a little uncomfortable about the possibility of lead, but I thought that I was being silly.

  16. tadowguy says:

    The < 2.0 numbers are from the same government that can’t even manage to recall lead toys. I don’t want any $#%@ing lead in my plates.

  17. jwcone says:

    Well it makes me nervous when you watch a video and the Gibson reps guy comes out and is defensive and is running away — looks pretty incriminating to me — I mean yeah they may be in ‘compliance’ but how about making plates out of something other than with lead in them — we can make space shuttle and other amazing technological stuff but we still can’t figure out how to make paint stick to a paint without lead? Cmon — I ain’t buying the damn things I don’t care how little it has — if the level you are consuming is small eventually you will over time cumulatively have consumed a large amount — so I just am going to avoid it altogether..

  18. formergr says:

    @stevemis: Hee, Pblates, love it!

    @jwcone: I don’t know, even though we can make a space shuttle, lately we can’t seem to make the foam on some of its parts stick all that well to it!

  19. swalve says:

    @jwcone: There always has been lead in ceramic food ware. Heck, Fiestaware used to have uranium in it!

  20. jwcone says:

    maybe if we put lead in the space shuttle foam it would stick then?? i still ain’t eating it — but I htink i prefer the stone fired glazed stoneware

  21. CurbRunner says:

    Like Walmart really gives a shit about any of this.

  22. burgundyyears says:

    I actually have done some work in this. I believe 3.0ppm is the federal standard for the acidic leeching test, not 2.0ppm. (It is illegal to sell plates above that level in the U.S.)

    California does require a prop 65 warning on all plates that go through the acidic leeching test and end up with a > 0.226ppm result.

    This heating up to the plates to 85 degrees is interesting though. Do they do that and then do the acidic leeching test on the heated plate? Sounds like a really worst case scenario (given the acidic leeching test basically uses vinegar, and how many people eat a plateful of hot vinegar?). Even despite that, they are still well within compliance. I don’t see the fire here.

  23. Skiffer says:

    I’ve been eating off these things for years, and I don’t have the slightest bit of brain damajamage…

  24. DashTheHand says:

    How are you as an everyday consumer supposed to know which brands/models are affected? Consumerist?

  25. mantari says:

    @burgundyyears: I think my fear is that any lead that is leeched doesn’t just come in contact with the skin; it is ingested. And perhaps with every meal. If you let me decide between leaded plates and unleaded plates, this car takes unleaded.

  26. Dervish says:

    @DashTheHand: The story yesterday said thai it applied to the “Hometrends” line purchased at Walmart, which was produced by Gibson in China.

    I agree that the levels given aren’t necessarily something to freak out about, but like the lady in one of those segments said, people should be allowed to choose. It would be cool if someone started independently testing dinnerware SKUs and posted the results on a searchable website.

  27. hi says:

    i wonder if the silverware also contains lead.

  28. Caroofikus says:

    Does anyone remember back in the day when we used lead paint? I wasn’t around for it, but my mom was, and she seemed to turn out fine.

    Oh, and what about lead crystal? Anybody??

  29. Trackback says:

    In a long line of Chinese made products found to contain lead, here’s the latest from The Consumerist. It makes you wonder what else Wal-Mart is selling that could be leaching poison into our bodies. Dinner Plates On Walmart Shelves Contain Lead What are you feeding your children tonight?

  30. hi says:

    Just because your mom turned out fine doesn’t mean everyone did. There’s a reason why they banned it.

    Wikipedia remembers:

    “Although lead improves paint performance, it is a dangerous substance. It is especially damaging to children under age six whose bodies are still developing. Lead causes nervous system damage, hearing loss, stunted growth, reduced IQ, and delayed development. It can cause kidney damage and affects every organ system of the body. It also is dangerous to adults, and can cause reproductive problems in adult men.” – Wikipedia


  31. ancientsociety says:

    @Caroofikus: What’s not to say that the upturn in cancers in modern society isn’t an effect of constant exposure to low levels of toxins (like lead) and carcinogens?

    There’s a reason why lead fell out of favor in manufacturing…you know, because science has proven it’s bad for us and all.

  32. burgundyyears says:

    @mantari: Well, yes, I think that’s implied. I think the point is though the levels exhibited by these plates even in more extreme test conditions they need to pass in is actually well within compliance.

    I don’t see the reasoning over the fear of truly trace amounts of lead. People suffered high lead levels in their bodies from exposure to ICE exhaust (US blood lead levels crashed very quickly after leaded gas was banned) and exposure to old, poor condition lead paint, which has caused a flatter, more gradual drop in lead levels. I used to be able to find a nice graph to show this, but the elimination of those two things really sent lead levels in most people’s bodies into a nosedive and blood lead levels have been quite flat generally for 10 years+ at a low level. I think getting worked up over trace amounts of lead much less than that standard in plates is most likely not warranted.

  33. destijl says:

    My boyfriend has a set of plates that were shown in the video, not the green/yellow ones, but ones identical to the whiteish plate they heated on the hotplate in the first video.

    Anyway, I know when we put those in the microwave they get scalding hot, even though they claim to be microwave safe, and anything over two minutes I would have to use a potholder just to pull it out and set it on the counter. Now it seems like putting 2 and 2 together to me, but someone correct me if I’m wrong in assuming that the reason these ceramic plates get so hot in the microwave is because there’s lead in them…