The Poison Pot


Last week, Jenn and Kelsey visited the home of a family on the Southwest side of Grand Rapids after a referral from a caseworker. Mom, who is six-months pregnant, was concerned when her child's finger prick test came back high for lead. When they arrived, mom was preparing dinner on their stove. There did not appear to be any other obvious lead hazards present, but Jenn, who is trained in lead poisoning prevention, noticed a pot on the stove like those known to contain lead. Upon a closer look, Jenn noticed the stain of vaporized lead on the lid. She tested the pot and it came back with outrageous levels of lead. 

Lead can be found in the glazes of some pottery and can leach into food or drinks if the pottery was not made properly or not meant for containing food. According to the FDA, pottery that is handmade with an uneven or crude appearance, looks antique, is unlabeled, is damaged or excessively worn, or was purchased secondhand without knowledge of where it was made should not be used for cooking or storing food. Remember, the effects of lead poisoning on children are irreversible. If you suspect that your pottery or ceramic dish may contain lead, discontinue using it for serving food until it can be tested or more information about it can be obtained.

This is not the first poison pot found in Grand Rapids. Here is a flier from the Kent County Health Department alerting people about the problem (click on the image for a downloadable PDF alert). Please share this information with your families, friends, and networks.

Click here for more information on the issue from the FDA.