Ceramics may still be safe if baked for a long enough period of time at high enough temperatures, but if not, the lead can leak into food and cause lead poisoning. Unfortunately for coffee lovers with favored earthenware cups, acidic food or drink is more prone to cause lead to seep out of ceramics. The main sources of lead for adults are through consumption of lead-containing food or beverage, or by inhaling lead particles that come from pottery or other materials used in home building or remodeling projects.
The most common source of lead for children is lead paint. If you're lucky enough to live in an older house, check the cupboards under the kitchen sink. You might find old pots and pans with lead glaze that have been discarded because they were no longer safe to eat from. These should be cleaned before use for cooking food.
If you find any lead items in your home, take them out of the house immediately until they can be disposed of properly.
Disposing of unused household items is important for keeping lead out of the environment. Lead can leach into soil if it comes in contact with it, so make sure not to throw away items such as old cookbooks or furniture containing lead paint. These items should be removed from circulation as soon as possible to prevent further lead absorption into your body.
Ceramic ware is significantly safer than it used to be (Fiesta ware hasn't covered its plates with uranium since 1973), but not all modern ceramics are devoid of hazardous compounds, according to NPR. If you own a mug, bowl, plate, or other ceramic kitchen item that was cooked in an earlier kiln, it may contain hazardous lead traces. Although the metal inside the pot should be lead-free, some manufacturers add lead to give the piece more weight and durability. This leads to lead dust when you cook with your item. You can wash your dishes in hot, soapy water, but if they're very stained, try using a cleaner designed for ceramic surfaces.
If you drink out of these items daily, then you should probably find another way to pass your drinking hours. Lead is toxic to humans in any amount, even if it's not visible, so don't use anything that you wouldn't eat. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that children shouldn't play in soil containing lead based paint, nor should adults eat from leaded food containers. The same goes for ceramic items; if you are prone to allergies or asthma, you should probably avoid lead dust too.
The best thing to do is check the manufacturing date of your item and dispose of it if necessary. If it's more than 10 years old, then there's no need to keep it around. Also, don't eat or drink out of it!
Mugs are available in plastic, ceramic, porcelain, bone china, and glass. As a result, drinking coffee from a cup containing lead or cadmium is not recommended. Because glaze is used on ceramic, porcelain, and china dishes, they may contain lead or cadmium. Lead can be found in the glaze of older pots and cups. Cadmium can be found in newer pots and cups. If you have an old pot or cup, check for these metals.
The best option for drinking coffee is using a pot that is lead free. These can be found online and at specialty kitchen stores. They can also be bought new if you do not want to buy used. Make sure that the pot you choose has an inside diameter larger than 10 inches and less than 14 inches. This will help prevent your coffee from dripping into the pot while it is brewing.
Coffee beans contain chemicals that can leach into your coffee if it is stored in a bag or container made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). For this reason, it is best to buy coffee in bulk and store it in a metal tin or other lead-free container.
If you drink coffee every day, it's important to avoid lead and cadmium. Small amounts of these metals don't pose a health risk by themselves, but studies show that they can join together to form compounds that are toxic to the human body.