Pyrex is a glassware brand often used for baking and other food storage. It’s durable, dishwasher-safe, and easy to use. It’s also prevalent in vintage collections. There are even some collectors who specialize in Pyrex only! But what if your vintage Pyrex contains lead? That’s a real possibility if you collect vintage Pyrex without knowing what to look for. There have been many articles on the topic of lead in collectible vintage cookware.
In this post, we’ll cover everything from how to test whether your vintage Pyrex contains lead or not. It may have lead sometimes (even if it says “Made in the USA”). Lastly, what foods are most likely at risk for leaching lead into your food when using them together with your favorite dishes. Let’s get started!
Vintage Pyrex contains lead.
According to the site Lead Safe Mama, vintage Pyrex contains lead. That’s because it was made with a glaze that held the metal, which leached into food when heated.
The glaze used to make vintage Pyrex contains lead and is, therefore, toxic if ingested. As such, we recommend not using your vintage Pyrex for food unless you know it’s been thoroughly cleaned and you’re sure that no harmful residues remain on the surface (we can’t tell you how to do this).
If you love the look of vintage Pyrex and want to use it for display purposes but don’t want to take any risks, there are some options available where you can buy new unglazed bowls or glassware without lead in them instead of buying old pieces with glazes containing lead.
New Pyrex made in the US no longer contains lead.
Pyrex made in the US no longer contains lead. So if you’ve got a vintage Pyrex baking dish made in the US, it may be safe to use.
Pyrex vintage printed designs can leach lead into food.
If you own a vintage Pyrex dish with a printed design, it’s possible that it holds lead. These designs could leach into whatever it is that you’re cooking in your vintage Pyrex dish. Lead is toxic and can be particularly harmful to children and pregnant women. If you have kids or are expecting a baby, it might be time to invest in some new bakeware. On the other hand, if you belong to either of these groups or love your old-school Pyrex (as we do), there are still steps that can be taken to minimize risk:
- Do not use an electric mixer or other utensils on high heat when cooking food in this kind of ovenware. Instead, stir by hand with wooden spoons or spatulas.
- Use liquid measuring cups instead of dry ones when making batter for non-baked goods such as cakes. It won’t scratch off any lead dust from the printed design on your glass dish! This will also help prevent metal ions from being transferred into acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits. The metal reacts negatively with acidity levels which may cause discoloration over time.”
Collecting vintage Pyrex is a high-risk activity for families with small children.
Those who grew up in the 60s and 70s have a soft spot for vintage Pyrex dishes. However, if you have small children, this affection should be tempered by the knowledge that lead poisoning is a severe health risk for young children.
Your biggest concern is whether or not your vintage Pyrex dish contains lead-based paints or glazes. The FDA requires any item made before 1991 to display a warning label if it has more than 0.06% lead by weight—which makes identifying potentially hazardous pieces easy enough to do on your own at home with an XRF analyzer like the one we use here at [website] (http://www.spectrum-analytical.com/xrf-analyzers/microprobe). Unfortunately, there’s no substitute for taking an actual sample of your dish and sending it off for testing. As we’ve seen, even small amounts of lead can cause serious problems when ingested over time by small children or pregnant women.
Lead poisoning from your vintage Pyrex is Possible
Similar to the issue with vintage Corelle dishes, lead poisoning from your vintage Pyrex is a real possibility if you use it daily or collect it and don’t know what to look out for. Lead poisoning is dangerous for children, adults, the environment, and everyone in your family—and it can have devastating effects on communities at large.
We hope this article has helped you make an informed decision about whether or not vintage Pyrex is safe for your family. It’s important to remember that some pieces of Pyrex contain lead, and others do not. If you have any doubts about the safety of a piece of vintage Pyrex in your home, then it’s best not to be used as cooking equipment until further testing can be done on its material composition. Remember, detoxing your way back to health is almost impossible after ingesting heavy metals.