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Porcelain Bathtubs Found to Contain Lead

Porcelain Bathtubs Found to Contain Lead

Many of you out there who cherish their old porcelain bathtubs will be heartbroken to learn that porcelain enamel bathtubs have been found to be an unexpected source of lead.

High lead levels have been traced to bathtubs in a number of different cases. One was when a 66-year-old man underwent personality changes, became irritable, aggressive, and paranoid. His doctor found that he had severe short term memory loss, abdominal pain, and constipation. It turns out he received severe lead poisoning after drinking wine made from grapes soaked in a bathtub with a lead enamel glaze.

Another case involved children with high lead levels, and the source was traced to the porcelain bathtub.

You can test your bathtub with special lead-checking test swabs.
Lead Check

You can learn about materials that can seal in the lead here:

and here:

Read more: Home, Health & Safety

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


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12:43AM PST on Dec 12, 2012

Very worrisome. Thanks Annie.

4:31PM PST on Dec 9, 2012

Our homes are full of toxins, inside and out.

6:23PM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

Too bad, yet another area of life where potential toxins now lurk, rather unfortunate! If it isn't hidden pesticides or whatever in foods, GMO foods refusing to be labelled so that people in some countries have a, a new source of lead has been found.

Karlolina G blames free trade for all the ills... and no doubt some of the old tubs or new ones come from elsewhere. However, there is no doubt there are many of the vintage tubs that were manufactured in the same place where these were purchased as well.

6:40AM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

Lots of glazes for pottery and porcelain have lead as a component. If the label says "not for food use," believe it! Where this guy went wrong was with the acidic grape juice, which leached the lead out of the glaze. Be very careful what you serve your coffee, tea, and juices in. If you're not drinking out of your bathtub, I wouldn't be too concerned.

3:36PM PDT on Oct 22, 2011


7:57AM PST on Mar 7, 2011

Oh great, something else that can kill us! Seriously though, it is good to be aware of. I suppose we should look at any antiques or imported items cautiously as the health and safety standards may not be up to speed.

5:11AM PST on Jan 12, 2011

Thanks for the info.

5:29AM PST on Nov 8, 2010

Thanks for the article.

10:31PM PDT on Jun 10, 2010

I used to have one when I was kid. I loved it. But, things have changed. We might just have to fix some things!

9:23AM PDT on Jun 10, 2010

thanks. my tub says oct, 1919 on the bottom of it, so it might be a good idea to have it checked. a hundred years ago, few people had any idea what environmental problems we would be facing today. they figured we would be living in eutopia by now.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Amen !!! Every 1 of these examples makes lots of sense !!!


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