As a parent, you want to do what is best for your child. You wouldn’t feed them food that would harm them, so why would you use unsafe dishes? While plastic is a common choice due to its price and durability, it may be full of chemicals that could cause health problems later in life. But, there is a safe alternative for your family if you choose to make the switch to lead-safe children’s dishes.
Toxic Substances in Dishes
Recently, the impact of substances such as BPA and lead in everyday items has gained a lot of attention from both the press and the public. There is a lingering question of the long-term effects that these substances can have on human health, especially in developing children. These potentially toxic substances include:
- Lead- a natural, metal-based element. Lead is known to cause health issues, especially in children and pregnant women. Lead exposure can lead to behavioral issues, anemia and decreased kidney function. In 1988, California issues Proposition 65 in an effort for manufacturers to disclose the amount of lead in dishware products (spoiler, we are completely compliant with their rules).
- BPA- Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in the production of some plastics and epoxy resins. In children, exposure can cause health problems such as heart problems, hormone fluctuations and behavioral problems.
- Phthalates- this chemical is used to soften plastics in everything from dishes to toys. The safety of phthalates is still debatable, but the amount that can be used in children’s products has been heavily controlled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Cadmium- a natural metal. Long term exposure to cadmium can cause cancer or kidney failure. McDonald’s faced scrutiny when it released a set of drinking glasses that contained traces of cadmium.
There is a still a large portion of the population that doesn’t even realize the possibility of these substances existing in their dishes. At Emerson Creek Pottery, we are committed to creating safe, non-toxic dishware that is safe of these harmful substances. We believe in only the best for your family.
Exposure to These Substances
You may be thinking, “If these substances are harmful, why would manufacturers use them?” The truth is, a lot of these products are made overseas where American standards do not necessarily apply. The use of these substances also contributes to a more efficient factory and can cut production costs.
According to the FDA, small traces of these substances can be used in dishware, as long as they are regulated. The dish may be fine to handle, but eating off of it can pose some health risks. The toxins may leak into foods when acidic food is served, the food is microwaved or the dish chips. Before using any dish for food, check to make sure that the dish was not intended to be used as a decorative item.
The Ceramic Advantage
For centuries, humans have worked with ceramics. These dishes are made from the earth, making them a sustainable, green option. However, not all pottery is created equal. When choosing dishes for your children, be sure to only choose ceramic dishware that is lead-safe.
Other safe alternatives to plastic dishware include American-made glass and steel products. Removing the plastic products from your home is a step to creating a healthy, safe environment for your family. And, the Earth will thank you, too.
Invest in Your Child
Many parents shy away from the idea of ceramic dishes, thinking that their children will break them. In a world that has a mindset of “newest is best”, teach your child the value of owning items that are quality and will not deteriorate with age. By having their own set of “real” dishes, they will feel more grown-up at dinner time and will enjoy feeling like they are partaking in an adult activity.
Our dishes are sturdy, but that doesn’t mean they are indestructible. Taking care of something breakable teaches children responsibility. Chances are that it will only take one broken dish to teach them the consequences of throwing their plate on the ground!
Our Lead-safe Picks
Your hunt for safe dishware ends here! Emerson Creek Pottery offers two different lead-safe children’s dish patterns—ladybug and goldfish. Both whimsical patterns are sure to delight and entertain your child! These sturdy ceramic dishes are microwave, dishwasher and oven safe and do not contain any harmful chemicals. Plus, you can personalize our mugs to make them feel even more special!
We offer 3 different dishes in the children’s line— a bowl that is perfect for everything from ice cream to soup, a plate that is perfect for little portions and a cup to hold all that milk for those growing bones. You can even get a bundle containing all 3!
When your children are older and ready to graduate to full size dinnerware, be sure to check out our full line of dinnerware sets!
While plastic children’s dishes may be bright, flashy and virtually indestructible, these items are almost always made overseas. Our products are made right here in America, specifically in Bedford, Virginia. They don’t come from a factory, but instead, each piece is individually hand painted just for you and your family.
Buying our American made products not only keeps your money here, it is better for the environment as the shipping of our products requires less transportation than those from overseas. Plus, you’re supporting our family with your purchase.
You can read more about our green practices and why we believe that these matter here. If you have any questions about any of our products, please don’t hesitate to ask! We want to help you make the best choice for your family and their dinnerware.