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Author Topic: Lead in food/water bowls?  (Read 13535 times)
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lilblu
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« on: September 27, 2007, 09:45:52 PM »

Is there any reason to suspect that ceramic food/water bowls may have dangerous amounts of lead in them?

I recently purchased a small, shallow, ceramic food bowl for one of my cats. The bowl is painted or glazed with different colors and I'm worried about lead poisoning. It was made in China and came from Walmart. As soon as I got the bowl home I washed it with hot water and soap before letting the cat eat out of it. I also always try to wash it on a regular basis.
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straybaby
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2007, 10:00:19 PM »

the best advice i can offer is to get a home lead test kit. i'm waiting for mine now, but in the meantime, i'm only using what's made in the USA in my kitchen. water leaches out heavy metals, so i would assume moisture in cat food would also.

and yes, you have every reason to suspect your bowls, sad but true.  Sad
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kittylyda
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2007, 05:41:18 AM »

I had the same thought about lead paint in pet bowls.  I have a few bowls with a really shiny glaze and when I looked at the bottom I saw they were indeed made in China.  I think most pet bowls are.  I have stopped them using them.

straybaby--where can one get a home lead test kit?
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EricV
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2007, 06:02:19 AM »

where can one get a home lead test kit?

You can buy them at Lowes, Home Depot, etc. They're usually with the paint.

Also, I bought Correl (spelling?) bowls for my cats and dog. They are all made in the USA and are the same brand that we eat off of. They also aren't painted.
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Dennis
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2007, 06:03:07 AM »

The hardware stores carry instant lead test kits. I've seen them at Ace Hardware.
http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1296037&cp=&sr=1&origkw=lead+test&kw=lead+test&parentPage=search&searchId=18735366883
http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1296036&cp=&sr=1&origkw=lead+test&kw=lead+test&parentPage=search&searchId=18735366883

And there have been stories about glazed pottery items being tainted with lead, although no mention specifically of pet food dishes. I have posted prior WONDERING if they might have a problem given all the leaded items being found, and the glaze reports, and since many dishes are most often from China.

Speaking of that, I was in a major pet supply store a few days back and looked at their steel dish thinking I might use those. Well, take a really good look at those dishes. They have some kind of rubber-like ring around the base to keep the dish from moving around on the floor. That sounds great, but hold the ring up to your nose. Peeeeee-UUUUUUUUUU!! It stinks to high heaven!! Some kind of chemical smell. And your cat or dog has a nose hundreds to thousands of times more sensitive so imagine how bad that will smell to them. Nope, can't use the steel dishes here.

And I really didn't find what I wanted. That was a dish with a lower center so the dry food stays in the center, not around the rim so our kitty can get to it easier.

I am now thinking the glass dishes would be safest.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2007, 06:04:49 AM by Dennis » Logged
catbird
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2007, 06:13:36 AM »

My local hardware store is out of the lead test kits now (no surprise), but when they come in I plan to test all my ceramic cat bowls.  Some are made in USA and some probably are from China.  I have some plain stainless steel bowls, but I plan to test those too, just in case they are not "really" stainless steel.  In the meantime my cats are also eating out of Corelle bowls like I use myself.

Does anyone know where you can get a small, flat "plate", made in USA and lead-free, with slightly raised edges that is smaller than a typical saucer?  One of my cats pushes the food to the sides of bowls and has better luck with a plate.  But most human dishes are too big (she's a tiny cat.)

If anyone does lead tests on pet bowls, could you please post here with a picture or description, where bought, and the results?
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JustMe
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007, 06:35:13 AM »

I don't like most of the supposedly stainless steel pet food dishes available over the last 10 years.  They are not stainless.  They develop rust spots over time.  They are very thin.  Stainless steel does not develop rust, that is why it is called stainless.  All I can find are ones made in India or China.  Yuck.  I have 45-year-old stainless trim on some of my cars that used to be stored outside for years.  No rust, pits, or anything on them.  This is not stainless as we currently know it.

I am suspicious that they are not truly "stainless" steel, that they are actually some form of what is known as "pot metal". 

I have some old dog food dishes that are 30-years-old.  They are the real deal.  Real stainless steel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot_metal

Pot metal refers to an alloy of inexpensive, low-melting point metals used to make fast, inexpensive castings for toys, tool parts, phonograph and Gramophone components, and automotive parts and accessories. There is no scientific metallurgical standard for pot metal (which is a slang term), but it is also known as white metal, die-cast zinc and often derisively as monkey metal.

« Last Edit: September 28, 2007, 06:39:43 AM by JustMe » Logged

Eventually they will understand,
Replied the glorious cat
For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
I just am....forever and ever and ever.
Poem for Cats, author unknown

"A kitten in the animal kingdom is like a rosebud in a garden", author unknown
Meowli
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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2007, 07:00:11 AM »

Why am I not surprised to find fears over yet another item.... maybe we should just not even try to buy new at all!!!? There are lots of old real "people dishes" still out there. Also glass bowls and even stainless steel. My water bowl is an old stainless steel piece from a cookware set bought in 1967. My cats eat their meals off of lovely pink and gray floral china dessert plates which cost maybe $1 each at a local thrift shop. They have other clear glass dishes from the Goodwill store that probably once were used in a restaurant. Their "snacks" maybe served on paper (not foamcore) plates. The bonus too is saving money - those questionable imports cost way too much anyhow!
Meowli

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JustMe
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2007, 07:14:04 AM »


Does anyone know where you can get a small, flat "plate", made in USA and lead-free, with slightly raised edges that is smaller than a typical saucer?  One of my cats pushes the food to the sides of bowls and has better luck with a plate.  But most human dishes are too big (she's a tiny cat.)

catbird,

How about Pyrex?  I haven't looked over their site, but they used to have something like custard type cups.  Maybe they have something flat.

http://www.pyrexware.com/
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Eventually they will understand,
Replied the glorious cat
For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
I just am....forever and ever and ever.
Poem for Cats, author unknown

"A kitten in the animal kingdom is like a rosebud in a garden", author unknown
straybaby
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« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2007, 08:07:25 AM »


Does anyone know where you can get a small, flat "plate", made in USA and lead-free, with slightly raised edges that is smaller than a typical saucer?  One of my cats pushes the food to the sides of bowls and has better luck with a plate.  But most human dishes are too big (she's a tiny cat.)

catbird,

How about Pyrex?  I haven't looked over their site, but they used to have something like custard type cups.  Maybe they have something flat.

http://www.pyrexware.com/

also, Anchor Hocking, Glassbake and Fiesta

these are the test kits i ordered.

https://www.healthgoods.com/Shopping/Home_Test_Kits/Lead_Paint_Testing.asp

i'm checking cookware and other items in my kitchen like the griddle surface etc. since it's hard to find american made small appliances. i may do some random heavy metal testing aside from lead on some of my newer kitchen pieces since it looks like this has been going on for a couple of years. you can also order home test kits for yourself to see if you have excess heavy metals in your body. hopefully i won't have to go there . . .

don't forget ebay for finding old glass and ceramic items. they prob have the real stainless also! lol!~ and don't forget about cast iron for cookware.
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Eympire
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« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2007, 08:51:21 AM »

I'll have to test my ceramic heart shaped bowls. They are so pretty, but I
dont want my babies getting ill from them. Thanks for article
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Dennis
Guest
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2007, 10:09:41 AM »

Justme, If the "stainless steel" bowl you purchased rusts, then as you say, I'd have thought it isn't stainless.

And I started to suggest filing a complaint with the FTC over false advertising regarding the "stainless" steel.
A complaint can result in the retailer being fined $50,000 or so for false advertising claims (i.e. go to online website
find item, point out the "stainless" and then offer a rusted bowl.) And perhaps that is some teeth the pet product
consumers need to re-discover.

But when I checked the semi-authority Wiki, I found this:
Quote
In metallurgy, stainless steel is defined as an iron-carbon alloy with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content.[1] The name originates from the fact that stainless steel does not stain, corrode or rust as easily as ordinary steel (note: it "stains less", but is not actually "stainless"). This material is also called corrosion resistant steel when it is not detailed exactly to its alloy type and grade, particularly in the aviation industry. As such, there are now different and easily accessible grades and surface finishes of stainless steel, to suit the environment to which the material will be subjected in its lifetime. Common uses of stainless steel are everyday cutlery and watch straps.

Once I saw that, I decided that Wiki raises two issues. One is that the various grades of stainless (and thus ingredients) and the fact it is resistant, not impervious means there is so much wiggle room that it isn't worth filing that complaint. The second point would be related to the chromium and other element content. How much of those leech into the food over the three hours per day twice a day that the food sits there? And it will vary based upon the PH of the food, or water which sits there constantly. Is this an undiscovered issue or a non-issue?

And Wiki
at (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stainless_steel )
raised the issue for me wondering about what the effect of chlorine and fluoride in our water would have on the stainless steel and how the various metals would react or not, and how much are in the Chinese made stainless steel. Think chromium oxide, nickel, chromium, vanadium, molybdenum on top of iron and carbon alloy. Add to various things in food dish, and then water, along with the hundreds of  chemicals and pharmaceuticals found in our city tap water these days in trace amounts.

Lead isn't the only element found in a glaze, particularly when they are used for colorings. Now that I've seen the stainless steel ingredients, I think I will limit my replacement pet food bowl searches to "glass" and risk breakage instead.

I'd trust the Corningware glass or Pyrex glass much more quickly than cast iron, or perhaps a US made enameled pot and pan set. The reason? Because most of us don't need a continuous source of iron added to our foods.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2007, 10:16:50 AM by Dennis » Logged
Dennis
Guest
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2007, 10:23:40 AM »

....Off the topic a bit, as I was looking for the info about the enameled pots and pans related to the whole lead in the pet bowls discussion, I happened to notice a side ad offer on a site for a quick-to-wash juicer.

The best part of the side ad was this:
Quote
...(X) juicers are made of polycarbonate and melamine which are semi-permanent...

So as the rotor spins and friction does to it what it does to all things, wouldn't we get a tiny bit of melamine?

 Shocked   Huh   Grin
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JustMe
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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2007, 10:25:59 AM »

"This ain't your father's stainless steel."  Real old-fashioned stainless steel does not pit and corrode.  I don't care what wiki says.  I have proof of what 30, 40, and 48-year-old stainless looks like to this day, in my kitchen and in my driveway.    

Quality of the current stainless has been watered down, just like everything else has been these days.

I'm not trying to file complaints against anyone.  Been there, done that.  Not interested.  pfftttttt.   I'm done tilting at windmills.
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Eventually they will understand,
Replied the glorious cat
For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
I just am....forever and ever and ever.
Poem for Cats, author unknown

"A kitten in the animal kingdom is like a rosebud in a garden", author unknown
Wilbur
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« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2007, 12:10:53 PM »

Months ago it was stated that plastic bowls were not good for water and food for pets....
I started using ceramic as a water bowl and a  stainless stainless steel bowl for food....
I would gladly use corning ware or pyrex, but what about the possibility the glass breaking???
Thanks
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