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Lead in Your Pot/Skillet?

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I have some ironware passed down by family and am confident in its safety.  However, in the course of buying and selling cast iron through our antique store over the years I wondered "how much lead was melted in that bean pot or skillet for that matter?"    Even if it were burned clean in a fire.....how do you know when the leads out?  Is there a simple test?

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Some public health departments will do lead tests on dishes and cookware.   I would check with them.  I know of no quick test that could be done at home.


edit:  I was wrong!


 I did a search for lead test and found 3-M makes lead testing swabs.  Cool!



Edited by J-BAR #18287
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Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon... they're pretty common.  Been buying 'em for years.  :)

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21 minutes ago, Zeb Gray, #36839 said:

Good to know.  Will it work on glass?  I have my Grandpa's old glass flask.  He kept some lead shot in it for years.  I've washed it a lot, but would like to know for sure that it's lead free.  


Oughtta work - even works on lead crystal.


From OSHA's site:   [ https://www.osha.gov/lead/lead-test 



  • The lead detector kits are designed to offer a simple and immediate estimation as to whether or not the lead in paint or other solid materials is at a hazardous level and whether abatement measures are needed.
  • According to the manufacturers, in addition to paint, other materials such as dust, soil, ceramics, lead crystal, solder, foil, pewter, and other metals can be examined for lead.
  • The kits are easy to use.
  • No analytical laboratory time is required.
  • The kits are inexpensive.
  • The pink color obtained upon reaction of lead with the kit reagents is very distinct.
  • The tests appear to be specific for lead when a pink color is obtained. They do not give a positive reaction with several metals used in lead-free solders.
  • The chemicals used are stated to be nontoxic; however, the usual precautions in handling any chemicals should be followed.

Note: Each kit is provided with test papers that contain lead to assure effectiveness in testing. Care should be used in handling these test media.

  • The kits are not recommended for users who are color-blind in the red/pink region of the color spectrum.
  • The kits are not designed to detect lead in water.
  • Possible interferences include barium, calcium sulfate in plaster, chromate in lead and zinc chromate, and red paint pigments. See Section 2. below.
  • The kits give only a positive/negative response. For a more thorough lead determination, the samples must be sent to a certified laboratory, or another more expensive field procedure used.
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2 hours ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon... they're pretty common.  Been buying 'em for years.  :)

Yep…he’s been trying to get the lead out for years….:P:lol:

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