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Mar 3, 2012 08:15 PM

China made cookware not healthy ?

I'm currently shopping for few items like ramekins, casseroles, cooking baking trays, and others.
I'm looking for cheaper stuff, since I'm a bargain shopper and I buy good stuff when it goes on sale. I'm guessing sooner or later most of my kitchen will be filled with European made cokware.

In the meantime I'm grabbing cheaper, made in China cookware. I know that mostly china means poorer quality, and I understand it, you get what you pay for, but shopping around I'm constantly reading comments about people refusing to buy China made cookware, saying that it is bad for your health.
At first I didn't read into it, but after 20 comments I'm starting to question myself, and I am starting to get a little bit scared on buying China made Cookware.

Anyone cares to elaborate on what I'm reading around on the net.
Is this really a health issue ?
Was I suckered into a paranoia ? :)

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  1. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/0...

    It may or may not be a safety issue. I haven't seen any other stories about Chinese cookware being a health risk.

    1. Lets not use these negative stereotypes China (ALL Chinese) made products = poorer quality logic.

      China produces most of the cookware sold so they will have more rotten eggs than everybody else.

      We need specifics on what isn't healthy and not generalizations.

      The companies that outsource factories to China still oversee supervise the production of goods to ensure quality. Ultimately, those companies are still held accountable for any public health problems they cause.

      1. I've heard that, but it didn't stop me from buying several Le Crueset-like Chinese pots at TJMaxx. Not like I use them everyday anyway. I mean, the microwaving Saran Wrap thing has been debunked, so unless there's some kind of MAJOR announcement, I'm not going to worry myself. In the end, it's a personal decision. I think it's more food products that we should worry about, but people seem to go overboard with that too.

        1. The ONLY common threat from ceramic imports I can think of, off hand, is lead and it's easy enough to test for lead content on pottery ware. Porcelain (aka china or fine china) is fired at such high temperatures that if there was any lead (or other "harmful" compounds in the glaze) it would be sealed inside the porcelain and/or surface glaze after firing and no longer pose a threat. It's only in "pottery," which is porous when the surface is chipped and is fired at far far lower temperatures than porcelain that lead can be dangerous, and then only if you use it for food service instead of display.

          In short, if you find good design in porcelain from China you like, go for it! Chinese porcelain workers NEVER make the wages that Europeans do. It's the basic reason why porcelain imported from China is so much cheaper.

          And just for the record, if you buy pottery ware and want to use it for food, before you do that test it for lead content. To do that, go to a swimming pool supply store and buy the smallest container of muriatic acid you can get them to sell you At home, turn your piece of pottery ware face down on a thick pad of newspaper in a place where neither children nor pets can reach it. Then find a place on the bottom of the item that has all of the colors on the piece, or maybe more than one spot on the bottom in order to test all of the colors. Place a generous drop of muriatic acid on each color and allow to air dry for a day. Examine the tested surface closely (be careful not to brush it off before you study it) under bright light (sunlight is good) for any trace of a powdery edge around the spot where the muriatic acid dried. If there is any trace of powdery residue, the item has some lead in the glaze and is not the best choice for serving food. There are also professional labs that will test the item for you... For at least a hundred times more than this will cost.... '-)

          FYI: I know about this stuff because I'm a fairly experienced ceramacist and metal enamalist. Job related.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Caroline1

            Love this suggestion, Caroline1. A note to anyone who uses muriatic acid: be careful handling it.

          2. Leaching lead in poorly fired ceramic cookware has been documented. For that reason I also generally include enameled cast iron unless it is backed by a strong brand like Lodge for quality control.

            Metal and Glass cookware are different animal so, other then various perceived issues with various non-stick coatings I don't see where a health issue could possibly exist in mainstream cookware.