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Lead Testing Lab

Category Press Release
Publish Date 5/23/2017
Author Paul Cochrane
Title NYC Health Issues Warning About Pottery Containing High Lead Levels
Introduction EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides testing services to identify lead exposure risks from pottery, paint, dust, air, water, soil and other sources.

Manhattan, NY, May 23, 2017

Earlier this month, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) issued a warning to residents after several New Yorkers were diagnosed with lead poisoning. The agency issued the public notice after it was determined that the victims developed lead poisoning after eating and drinking from ceramics that had lead in the glaze, paints or pottery clay.

According to the DOHMC release, “Health Department investigators found ceramic ware containing lead at stores in two different areas of the city. Many of the ceramic ware was unlabeled or mislabeled. Some pottery contained stickers identifying Mexico as the country of origin; others had labels written in Spanish that specified the ceramic ware was for decorative purposes only. However, the decorative items were often sold alongside foods and produce, and shop owners told investigators that they were for culinary purposes. The Health Department purchased and tested some of the ceramic ware and found lead concentrations of up to 520,000 parts per million, which is extremely high and can have harmful effects on a person’s health. Investigators are concerned contaminated ceramics may be for sale in other neighborhoods.”

Lead has been used for centuries in the glazing process of many traditional ceramics. These traditional pottery items should never be used for containing or serving food or beverages.

“It’s important for people to understand that ceramic ware containing lead can leach into their food or drinks and cause lead poisoning,” said Joseph Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “This is not just a New York concern, as ceramics containing lead have caused similar public health issues from coast-to-coast.”

To assist the public and health officials identify lead hazards in ceramics and other products, EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers comprehensive lead testing services. These same tests are available to retailers, distributers and importers of ceramics to help them ensure these products meet health and safety regulations, and are properly labeled.

To learn more about lead or other product, health and safety testing services, please visit, call (800)220-3675 or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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