Friday, September 17, 2010

Our fall nature table




We have a book that shows the lovely leaves changing. We don't have that where we live so books have to suffice. The Year at Maple Hill Farm (Sonlight Core B/ P4/P5 book) since it has such a nice story of life on the farm through the seasons. 
We picked up a container of gourds which the kids think are the neatest things ever. 
And all the pine cones were gathered by my older daughter when she was golfing with her Dad one day. 
I found a cute little scarecrow and the pumpkin with fall flowers at the local Walgreen's in their dollar fall bins. (and thought, on nature table for sure! LOL). And then we have a little bear figure made of wood. This is from a playset of lead free, American made toys my son receive for Christmas. I had two cloth brown place mats that I used under everything. I know some folks use playsilks but I like to work with what I have on hand first and only buy as needed. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lead in slow cookers?

So I was reading on a blog yesterday which I've fallen in love with. This Mom did a 365 day crock pot challenge and has some fantastic recipes. http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

On her blog she mentioned in the FAQ a concern about lead in the slow cookers.
So I began trying to find one that is in fact lead free and does not cost upwards of $60.
It seems Hamilton Beach has a zero lead tolerance in their pots, as far as they say anyway: http://www.hamiltonbeach.com/faqs/slow-cookers.php

And then I stumbled upon options for lead free dishes at this blog: http://www.safbaby.com/lead-and-cadmium-in-dinnerware

And this website has all lead free items as well:
http://www.fishseddy.com
I contacted them and they responded:
"Our products are safe and lead free.  Some of them are microwave safe and dishwasher safe.
Thank you!!"
Looks like they have some neat options for lead free dishes. I believe all our dishes are lead free but I like some of the colors of the items that were listed and might have to make a purchase soon.

Edited to add: That the Pfaltzgraff website has this to say about their dishes:

"Are my dishes safe?

Pfaltzgraff, a Lifetime Brands company, stands behind the safety and quality of all of its products. It is our Company Policy to use only lead-free glazes, pigments or decals. All of our products are tested by accredited, independent laboratories."
Here is some info from World Kitchen, who are the makers of corning and pyrex. I had sent them an email asking if their products contain any lead or are lead free:


Thank you for contacting World Kitchen, LLC.

Our specifications are that stoneware products and glazes are made of clay-based materials and glazes used throughout the industry. Decorations, if present, are made from low-lead enamels and fired at temperatures exceeding 1000 degrees F, which binds any heavy metals both physically and chemically so that their release is minimized.
Please note that to satisfy requirements concerning consumer warnings on packaging at time of sale and/or advertisement in the state ofCalifornia (so-called California Proposition 65), only traces of heavy metals (including lead) are permitted. The current limit for presence of leachable lead in order to satisfy California requirements is no more than 0.100 ppm (1 tenth of one part per million) when obtained under test conditions. At no time have our results exceeded those which are permissible under the guidelines mentioned above (which are believed to be the most stringent in the world). Also note that tests for the presence of heavy metals are conducted for World Kitchen by internationally certified, third-party laboratories under strict conditions, by trained technicians, and using atomic absorption spectrophotometry analysis following carefully monitored preparation. These steps are necessary to minimize any possibility of contamination or false reading during preparation, testing or analysis.


edited on 10/21/10 with more info from world kitchens. 
I had emailed them for some follow up, Here is that email:

Thank you very much for taking the time.

Can you tell me if the corelle plates made with decorations and Pyrex made in the USA are lead free verses the information you provided for the current lead levels in the items made in china now? Is there any lead in the all white plates made in the US and what about those from china? I have older items and newer and am trying to make heads or tails of the difference as I've read conflicting information on the Internet.

From what I understand, Pyrex was created using a lead free formula, is that same formula used making Pyrex lead free presently or would you say it's the same measurement of the scale you provided previously?

Thank you very much for your time and attention to this matter.

Here is the response I received:
Dear Melissa,

The Pyrex® and Corelle glass products that World Kitchen currently manufacture meet the most stringent technical, statutory, and industry standards for lead content. Please note that to satisfy requirements concerning consumer warnings on packaging at time of sale and/or advertisement in the state of California (California Proposition 65), only traces of heavy metals (including lead) are permitted. The current limit for presence of leachable lead in order to satisfy California requirements is no more than 0.100 ppm (1 tenth of one part per million) when obtained under test conditions. At no time have our results exceeded those which are permissible under the guidelines mentioned above (which are believed to be the most stringent in the world). Also note that tests for the presence of heavy metals are conducted for World Kitchen by internationally certified, third-party laboratories under strict conditions, by trained technicians. These steps are necessary to minimize any possibility of contamination or false reading during preparation, testing or analysis.

Pyrex® products have always met (and continue to meet) the most stringent technical, statutory, and industry standards for lead.  Definitions have changed over the past 30 years regarding where and what must be included for testing as well as what is an acceptable level.  The fact that the outside of the bowls are covered in enamel met all statutory and legal requirements of that time.  Use of the product in its intended manner and in accordance with the Safety & Usage instructions will minimize risk and you may not need to replace them.  However, as the legal definitions of acceptable levels of lead have changed over time, you may wish to save the Pyrex® vessels as a momento of an earlier time and consider replacing the vessels with new, up-to-date Pyrex® products which, like thos referenced, meet the most recent, stringent statutory requirements for lead.

For further assistance, please contact our Consumer Care Center at 800-999-3436.  Representatives are available from 8am to 6pm Monday through Thursday and 8am to 5pm on Friday, EST, and will be more than happy to assist you.

Sincerely,

April
World Kitchen Consumer Care Center


Hope this info is helpful to someone else.