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>How to test for lead.

>I know, borring topic! But this is pretty important to know, and it’s sooo easy to do, so I figured I would share. I received a comment back on my post on fall decor about the plates I bought from Goodwill that concerned me. The reader mentioned the dishes were recalled years ago for possible lead content. By the way, YES, I read every comment and love them. 😉

Well, there are a few things that freak me out — and lead is one of them. Especially with a little man in the house. Eek! I usually have a lead testing kit handy around here — I’ve used them a few times over the years.

Although our crib was brand new, when the Bub started gnawing on it like it was a chew toy, out came the lead test. When every. single. toy. seemed to have lead in it, out came the lead tests. You can test just about any product for lead content. First, check out your home improvement store and look for this package:
I usually find them near the paint section. I think this kit was about $5, and you can get two tests out of each swab, as long as you do the tests within two minutes:

When I did some research on the recalled plates, I read that if there are any chips to check that area for lead especially. Because I chipped this bowl pretty much as soon as I got it home (fists shaking in air!), I figured I would check that, as well as the bowl.
After the swab is activated, just squeeze the fluid onto the item you’re testing:
The instructions say to wait for 30 seconds or so, but in my experience, the immediate result is the result. Both the surface of my bowl and the chipped area were negative, whew. (Meaning no color change.) The sites I found about the recall didn’t have pictures of any of the recalled sets, but it did mention the lead leached when the plates were heated. I plan on sticking this in the microwave for a bit to test it again just to make sure.
Since I could get two tests out of the one swab, I figured I would check out an antique architectural piece I got a while back as well. I was pretty sure there was lead in the piece, due to it’s age. I was right — it started out light:
And got darker with time:

The swab will turn as well as the item:

According to the test, the darker the color, the more lead — this was a dark pink, not red. So it’s not a ton of lead, but enough that I put it up high on a plant shelf so none of us will touch it. (The pink on this one did not come off, so beware of that.)
Especially with the holidays coming up, it is worthwhile to have a test around, just in case. It’s quite possible some older or antique Christmas decor has lead in it. Obviously, even items with lead in them aren’t necessarily harmful if left alone and aren’t handled often — for adults. Anything babies or children can get to are fair game. 😉
It’s cheap to do and too easy not to!
My button is fixed — take it with you if you like! (See left.)

Christmas decor is coming yet this week…IT’S ON!!


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