Do you love shopping for antiques? Is your cupboard filled with thrift store trinkets? Do you serve food out of a pewter dish that was passed down from generation to generation? Did you ever think that it might contain lead? Read on…

Not long ago, it was reported that lead and cadmium were found in children’s drinking cups given out by a fast food restaurant. Even more recently, lead was found in reusable shopping bags. Now, another report has found that many items purchased from second-hand or antique shops contain dangerous amounts of lead.

Surface lead concentrations of more than 700 times the federal limit were found on items such as toys, home décor, kitchen utensils, and jewelry. Researchers purchased items from stores in Virginia, New York and Oregon, and were able to purchase an item that contained lead from every store they visited!

Nineteen out of 27 products exceeded the federal standard for lead, which is currently 600 parts per million. One salt shaker lid contained 714 times the federal limit! Regulation of the sale of second-hand and antique items would be both difficult and expensive, so a national public health education campaign will be launched to inform consumers of the dangers of these products.

Children are especially at risk for exposure to dangerous levels of lead and should not come into contact with antiques or use products that may contain lead. Used dishes and kitchen utensils, as well as construction debris and salvage items should be avoided until tested.

Avoiding all toxins is impossible, I know, but we can all take a few steps to lessen our toxic burden. Remember to support your body’s natural detoxification processes by eating a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables, getting plenty of exercise, and cleansing regularly.