Apr 9th 20 6:04 pm
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 7th 20 2:28 pm

Non-Toxic Teapot with Antique European Style?

by AMichaels » Apr 9th 20 6:04 pm

I have a passion for antique European teaware, but I'm concerned that my beloved teacups and tea-brewing pots may contain lead and cadmium. I use my teaware, rather than just displaying it and have many items from 1900-1960's, before lead and cadmium were regulated in teaware. I have considered paying to have an XRF technician test these items, though that will only show whether or not they contain lead; not whether or not the lead can leach into fluids.

There are non-toxic teapots for brewing, such as glass (though not all glass is non-toxic) but I have a strong dislike of the aesthetics of modern teaware. I'm glad other people like it, but compared to an elegant bone china teapot with a long spout, a filagree'd handle, ornate painted design and gold leaf, a Zero Japan or glass teapot looks very plain.

Drinking tea out of antique-style teaware is one of the things that makes me happiest. To me it's a hobby and a lifestyle. However, that joy still isn't worth potential kidney damage, early dementia and cancer caused by lead and cadmium poisoning. I've read the materials on Tamara Rubin's website and it just seems like NOTHING is safe; even modern dinnerware, most of which is made in China and is not safe. I've even read that many glass items aren't safe (not just leaded crystal; I mean glass). The FDA only seems to regulate items made in America and America doesn't make much anymore.

If anyone has ideas about where I can find a non-toxic teapot for brewing tea which has at least a somewhat elegant and antique European design, even if it's plain white, I will appreciate it very much. I've even thought of creating a company to make non-toxic reproductions of antique designs that aren't patented. Non-toxic shouldn't have to = boring!

Apr 10th 20 11:46 pm
Posts: 301
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Re: Non-Toxic Teapot with Antique European Style?

by FBee » Apr 10th 20 11:46 pm

AMichaels wrote: I have a passion for antique European teaware, but I'm concerned that my beloved teacups and tea-brewing pots may contain lead and cadmium. I use my teaware, rather than just displaying it and have many items from 1900-1960's, before lead and cadmium were regulated in teaware. I have considered paying to have an XRF technician test these items, though that will only show whether or not they contain lead; not whether or not the lead can leach into fluids.

There are non-toxic teapots for brewing, such as glass (though not all glass is non-toxic) but I have a strong dislike of the aesthetics of modern teaware. I'm glad other people like it, but compared to an elegant bone china teapot with a long spout, a filagree'd handle, ornate painted design and gold leaf, a Zero Japan or glass teapot looks very plain.

Drinking tea out of antique-style teaware is one of the things that makes me happiest. To me it's a hobby and a lifestyle. However, that joy still isn't worth potential kidney damage, early dementia and cancer caused by lead and cadmium poisoning. I've read the materials on Tamara Rubin's website and it just seems like NOTHING is safe; even modern dinnerware, most of which is made in China and is not safe. I've even read that many glass items aren't safe (not just leaded crystal; I mean glass). The FDA only seems to regulate items made in America and America doesn't make much anymore.

If anyone has ideas about where I can find a non-toxic teapot for brewing tea which has at least a somewhat elegant and antique European design, even if it's plain white, I will appreciate it very much. I've even thought of creating a company to make non-toxic reproductions of antique designs that aren't patented. Non-toxic shouldn't have to = boring!
I got some experience with Chinese antiques, they all contain lead which is pretty much guaranteed.

The good news is that it won’t leach in most cases if it’s underglaze. The white parts are usually safe unless the surface has been damaged, abrasions, cracks etc. Overglaze, especially red, brown, yellow and gold are usually leaching lead for sure!

But normally teapots aren’t decorated inside, so globally safe.

Have you thought of the more ornamented Yixing clay pots? Those are unglazed but do not contain lead. Antique Yixing a lot more expensive than porcelain though...

Apr 11th 20 5:22 pm
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 7th 20 2:28 pm

Re: Non-Toxic Teapot with Antique European Style?

by AMichaels » Apr 11th 20 5:22 pm

Hi FBee,

Thank you so much for your response! That's good to know about the underglaze/overglaze. I used to think that undecorated white china was safe, but according to Tamara Rubin's website, many plain white plates (even modern ware from Lenox and Williams Sonoma) can contain very high, unsafe levels of lead. I was shocked to read that, because I had thought that plain white dishware was safe.

I will look into Yixing teaware because I also love traditional Asian teapots. Thank you again for your response.
FBee wrote:
AMichaels wrote: I have a passion for antique European teaware, but I'm concerned that my beloved teacups and tea-brewing pots may contain lead and cadmium. I use my teaware, rather than just displaying it and have many items from 1900-1960's, before lead and cadmium were regulated in teaware. I have considered paying to have an XRF technician test these items, though that will only show whether or not they contain lead; not whether or not the lead can leach into fluids.

There are non-toxic teapots for brewing, such as glass (though not all glass is non-toxic) but I have a strong dislike of the aesthetics of modern teaware. I'm glad other people like it, but compared to an elegant bone china teapot with a long spout, a filagree'd handle, ornate painted design and gold leaf, a Zero Japan or glass teapot looks very plain.

Drinking tea out of antique-style teaware is one of the things that makes me happiest. To me it's a hobby and a lifestyle. However, that joy still isn't worth potential kidney damage, early dementia and cancer caused by lead and cadmium poisoning. I've read the materials on Tamara Rubin's website and it just seems like NOTHING is safe; even modern dinnerware, most of which is made in China and is not safe. I've even read that many glass items aren't safe (not just leaded crystal; I mean glass). The FDA only seems to regulate items made in America and America doesn't make much anymore.

If anyone has ideas about where I can find a non-toxic teapot for brewing tea which has at least a somewhat elegant and antique European design, even if it's plain white, I will appreciate it very much. I've even thought of creating a company to make non-toxic reproductions of antique designs that aren't patented. Non-toxic shouldn't have to = boring!
I got some experience with Chinese antiques, they all contain lead which is pretty much guaranteed.

The good news is that it won’t leach in most cases if it’s underglaze. The white parts are usually safe unless the surface has been damaged, abrasions, cracks etc. Overglaze, especially red, brown, yellow and gold are usually leaching lead for sure!

But normally teapots aren’t decorated inside, so globally safe.

Have you thought of the more ornamented Yixing clay pots? Those are unglazed but do not contain lead. Antique Yixing a lot more expensive than porcelain though...

Apr 19th 20 5:33 pm
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 7th 20 2:28 pm

Re: Non-Toxic Teapot with Antique European Style?

by AMichaels » Apr 19th 20 5:33 pm

By the way, I've found a way to enjoy using my antique teacups which likely contain lead and cadmium, though this won't work for teapots. I have purchased glass gaiwans in various sizes which fit well inside my antique European-style teacups. The lip of the gaiwam extends just a tiny bit higher than the cups which is good because it stops my mouth from touching the cup, and it extends outward, which makes it easier to drink from. Because they are glass gaiwans I'm still able to view the lovely painted designs inside the cup, and overall it doesn't disrupt the aesthetic of the outside of the cup because the lip of the glass gaiwan only extends a small amount over the top of the cup.

Some may think this an odd solution, but for me it is a godsend. I am so thrilled that I've found a way to enjoy my beloved antique (toxic, lead-and-cadmium-ridden) teacups without any harmful effects to my health. I can even buy more teacups from the 1890's and use them without fear for my health.

This is also a fully work-around but for my antique (and therefore likely toxic) creamers, I found white silicone molds on Amazon for chocolate making that are in the shape of strawberries. I cut them out and put them in the creamer and pour the soymilk I use in my tea into the mold. It still runs slightly over the spout of the creamer, but only for a few seconds, and since milk/soymilk aren't acidic and is cold, I'm not too worried about it. Hot, acidic liquids make lead and cadmium leach from old china.

In case this helps anyone else who loves old European-style china but doesn't want to poison themself, I wanted to post it. Happy sipping!

quote=AMichaels post_id=304521 time=1586625722 user_id=47867]
Hi FBee,

Thank you so much for your response! That's good to know about the underglaze/overglaze. I used to think that undecorated white china was safe, but according to Tamara Rubin's website, many plain white plates (even modern ware from Lenox and Williams Sonoma) can contain very high, unsafe levels of lead. I was shocked to read that, because I had thought that plain white dishware was safe.

I will look into Yixing teaware because I also love traditional Asian teapots. Thank you again for your response.
FBee wrote:
AMichaels wrote: I have a passion for antique European teaware, but I'm concerned that my beloved teacups and tea-brewing pots may contain lead and cadmium. I use my teaware, rather than just displaying it and have many items from 1900-1960's, before lead and cadmium were regulated in teaware. I have considered paying to have an XRF technician test these items, though that will only show whether or not they contain lead; not whether or not the lead can leach into fluids.

There are non-toxic teapots for brewing, such as glass (though not all glass is non-toxic) but I have a strong dislike of the aesthetics of modern teaware. I'm glad other people like it, but compared to an elegant bone china teapot with a long spout, a filagree'd handle, ornate painted design and gold leaf, a Zero Japan or glass teapot looks very plain.

Drinking tea out of antique-style teaware is one of the things that makes me happiest. To me it's a hobby and a lifestyle. However, that joy still isn't worth potential kidney damage, early dementia and cancer caused by lead and cadmium poisoning. I've read the materials on Tamara Rubin's website and it just seems like NOTHING is safe; even modern dinnerware, most of which is made in China and is not safe. I've even read that many glass items aren't safe (not just leaded crystal; I mean glass). The FDA only seems to regulate items made in America and America doesn't make much anymore.

If anyone has ideas about where I can find a non-toxic teapot for brewing tea which has at least a somewhat elegant and antique European design, even if it's plain white, I will appreciate it very much. I've even thought of creating a company to make non-toxic reproductions of antique designs that aren't patented. Non-toxic shouldn't have to = boring!
I got some experience with Chinese antiques, they all contain lead which is pretty much guaranteed.

The good news is that it won’t leach in most cases if it’s underglaze. The white parts are usually safe unless the surface has been damaged, abrasions, cracks etc. Overglaze, especially red, brown, yellow and gold are usually leaching lead for sure!

But normally teapots aren’t decorated inside, so globally safe.

Have you thought of the more ornamented Yixing clay pots? Those are unglazed but do not contain lead. Antique Yixing a lot more expensive than porcelain though...
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