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  QUESTION: Lead poisoning risk from white China made in China, 09 Sep 2005, Tasmania Australia

I have a lot of WHITE "made in China" domestic ware including teapots which I use mainly with fruit teas and honey and ceramic bone china mugs. I drink the fruit tea in preference to anything else. I have recently been informed that China does not have the laws we do in Australia regulating the use of Lead in Glazes.

How at risk am I?

I am 60 and have physical issues related to peripheral nerve damage and high blood pressure.

Email 2 From: "Meryl Moscrop" Monday, September 26 

Dear Elizabeth
I received the report of my results with ref to Lead - and the results showed that things were within normal range - so panic over. I will just have to go on researching to find out what is going on
With thanks
Meryl Moscrop

ANSWER: 09 Sep 2005

Dear Meryl,

I am very interested to know whether your peripheral nerve damage and high blood pressure is caused by lead poisoning, or do you know there to be some other cause/s?

To answer your question on the lead poisoning risk from white China made in China, the best thing to do is to have a blood lead test. If your blood lead level is low then you'll know there's no problem with the china and you'll also know that you should look for some other explanation of your peripheral nerve damage and high blood pressure, if you don't already know it. White china in general has a low risk of containing lead in the glaze compared to coloured china (especially yellows, greens, oranges and reds) but without expensive testing of items from each set of crockery that you use, you could not be sure that it does not contain lead. Thus the blood lead test is not only the best test but also cheaper - ask your doctor to mark the pathology request with "Medicare Bulk Bill" and it should be free.

I hope you find the answers you're looking for. When your blood lead result comes in - please feel free to write again so we can discuss what it means and what, if anything, to do about lead after that.

Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

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