Thumbwind’s Memorial weekend post about vintage Corelle dishes that may be on our cottages, campers, and cabins in northern Michigan was not supposed to go viral as I write this, the original post. If You Have These Vintage Corelle Dishes In Your Cottage, Camper, Or Cabin – Should You Stop Using Them Now? has been read and shared over 20,000 times. A record for a sleepy little site like Thumbwind. However, we feel the information has merit. It must have struck a nerve as we use these vintage dishes in our own cottage in the Thumb. In addition, our one-year-old granddaughter has been served food on these old dishes.
A State Health Department Issues a Warning on Vintage Corelle
On May 20th, the New Hampshire Public Health Services released a terse post on the issue of lead levels in Corelle’s vintage dishes and cookware. They included the following warning:
“Elevated lead levels are most dangerous in young children and pregnant mothers. The FDA started to regulate lead levels in dishware in 1971. Decades of daily use can cause deterioration of the paint, exposing the lead and making it easily ingestible. This post is an educational opportunity for people to know that vintage dishes can be a source of lead exposure.”New Hampshire Public Health Services
This notice was followed by a dozen images of Corelle plates and dinnerware with decorative designs containing what is believed to be paint-containing Lead.
The Corelle Company Responds
It was a startling development. After years of testing conducted by Lead Safe Mama on the high lead levels in vintage Corelle dishes and cookware, the company now holding reign on this vintage brand, Instant Brands, indicated that it will begin a testing program on their “pre-2000 Corelle products”
A user ID claiming to be Corelle issued the following response to the New Hamshire Public Health Services post:
“We are very proud of our Corelle products, which are made of Vitrelle, a tempered glass consisting of glass laminated into three layers. Corelle was first introduced by Corning over 50 years ago and in 2000 started to be manufactured by the company known today as Instant Brands. All Corelle products meet the safety standards at the time of manufacturing.
As manufacturing and regulatory practices have evolved, so have Corelle products. We routinely test Corelle products for lead and cadmium contents at internationally recognized, third-party testing laboratories. This testing confirms that our products comply with applicable federal and state safety regulations.
Corelle dinnerware has come in many different patterns over the years since it was first introduced by Corning and continued with Instant Brands, and many vintage/legacy pieces have become cherished collectors’ items. Before 2000, and before tighter lead content safety regulations, a small amount of lead was an ingredient in the decorating process of many household products.
Given the recent demand for use of vintage products every day, we are further investigating pre-2000 Corelle products to confirm they comply with today’s safety standards – and whether it’s okay to use pre-2000 product as everyday dinnerware.
Whatever way you choose to enjoy your Corelle products, either decoratively or at your table every day, we hope you enjoy them as much as we do.”Corelle
July 2022 Update – Outside Lab Tests Vintage Corelle Dishes
With so much going on, I almost forgot about my inquiry. So it was a bit of a surprise that I received a rather lengthy message on Facebook Messenger from Corelle. This is what they had to say. Outside Lab Vindicates Vintage Corelle Dishes – Determines Dishware Are Approved For Everyday Use
Consumer Reports – You Should Test Your Vintage or Imported Dishes for Lead ASAP
Late last year, Consumer Reports Magazine posted an article, Why You Should Test Your Vintage or Imported Dishes for Lead ASAP. The article focused on imported and vintage dishes and lead content. The Consumer Reports stated that while the most significant concern was imported ceramics, consumers must also be mindful of the potential risk of lead exposure from any dishware purchased at a thrift store or from antique ceramics passed from generation to generation.
Final Thoughts on Vintage Corelle Dishes Containing Lead Paint.
This announcement by the New Hampshire Public Health Services and response by Corelle generated over 7,100 comments to the Facebook post. As of the date of this publication, the company has not responded to individual posts.
While not as far-reaching, according to crisis managers, this recent viral social media episode with Corelle harkens back to the Ford Motor Company social media crisis when dealing with Bridgestone/Firestone Inc tires. However, Corelle has quickly recognized that people want to be assured that using their older products is safe.
We will follow this development and have reached out to Corelle / Instant Brands and asked to be included in the follow-up testing on the vintage Corelle pattern.
Lead Safe Mama began its testing over three years ago. It is only now that her efforts are being recognized.
Lead Testing Kits For Surface Testing From Amazon
Note: These kits are not denoted for testing cookware and dishes. They are meant to test surface areas such as wood, plaster, dust, vinyl, fabric, and painted surfaces
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If You Have These Vintage Corelle Dishes In Your Cottage, Camper, Or Cabin – Should You Stop Using Them Now?
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