In November, I came across an article about finding lead in vintage Pyrex which led to a flurry of research. I originally wrote about it here and here on the blog, and on my Instagram (@maegoeswestblog). I received many different responses and even did an Instagram poll to see what people thought. My Instagram poll was split 50/50 which almost never happens. It seems to be a polarizing issue. My dad, who is of the opinion that old Pyrex is safe to use, read my original post and sent me a lead test kit to test all of my vintage Pyrex I’ve amassed over the last decade (wow, that word makes me feel old!). After promising this post last month, I just realized this post has lived in my draft blog posts due to a typo of 2021 to 2022 when I was scheduling the publication. So without further, ado, below are the results.
Let’s talk method. I wanted to follow the scientific method as closely as I could as it tends yields the most unbiased results. My hypothesis was that I would find traces of lead in my Pyrex. I realize part of the scientific method is to be skeptical, so I tried to keep that in mind as bias leads to all sorts of issues in the scientific community. I must admit however, that this lead test kit was not concrete science. Some of the Q-tips developed difficult to interpret shades of hues. The instructions weren’t very clear nor was the color key, so there was potential for a big margin of error. I tested all of my Pyrex on different areas and I also tested some of my brand new dish ware as a controlled variable. I tested each dish at least twice. When I was prepping for the third round, I dropped the remaining Q-tips in the sink where some dishes were soaking which rendered them all useless. Bearing all of this in mind, these are my general impressions and results
- My control group, my newer dishes, did not contain lead.
2. Most of my Pyrex did not contain lead. The brown Pyrex didn’t contain lead. The white Pyrex with yellow decoration did not contain lead.
3. One of my Pyrex dishes does contain a concerning amount of lead. I swabbed the yellow dish below thrice just to ensure I would get the same result. And I did. Each time I began rubbing the Q-tip on the outside, it immediately turned dark pink, almost purple which means lead is present. However, I did test the inside where the food touches and that Q-tip remained mustard yellow/a splash of pink, which meant there wasn’t lead detected there.
4. My little Pyrex coffee cup yielded mixed results. One Q-tip showed no lead. Two Q-tips showed lead.
What I’m taking from this experiment: some Pyrex contains concerning amounts of lead. Others do not. I am going to do thisexperiment again to see if it yields the same results. In the meantime, I will only be using the yellow serving and the coffee cup as decoration.