NYC asks to avoid the use of traditional ceramic tableware for cooking or serving food because they could contain lead – Telemundo New York (47)

NEW YORK – At least 15 cases of lead poisoning in children and adults related to the use of ceramic utensils were investigated in New York City and now the Department of Health is asking New Yorkers to avoid the use of pots, cups and traditional clay dishes (pottery) are not suitable for cooking or serving food and beverages because they may contain lead.

So the department said Tuesday because of cases that showed high levels of lead in the blood, as high as 53 micrograms per deciliter in recent months.

Although individuals with high levels of lead in their blood do not look or feel sick, the department said, exposure to lead can cause serious health problems. For example, in children, exposure to lead can cause learning and behavior problems, and in adults, exposure to lead can increase blood pressure and affect the brain, kidneys, and reproductive organs. For its part, exposure to lead during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage and affect the unborn baby.

“High levels of lead have been found in certain types of traditional tableware and have been linked to lead poisoning in both children and adults,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “Do not use decorative ceramics to prepare or serve food. If you are not sure if it is safe for food, better safe than sorry, do not use it. New Yorkers using these products should stop and talk to their doctor and request a test. blood lead screening as soon as possible. “

Traditional or handmade ceramic items from around the world, including those produced in Mexico, Ecuador, Turkey, Morocco, and Uzbekistan, have been found to contain high levels of lead. Lead can be added to decorative paint or glaze used as a sealer so that the clay can hold food or liquids. Lead used in ceramics can be transferred to foods or beverages that are prepared, stored, or served in these products. No amount of washing, boiling, or other processes can remove lead from ceramic.

The Health Department routinely visits stores to determine the availability of dangerous consumer products and orders businesses to stop selling them. The department is issuing commissioner orders to New York City businesses to require them to stop selling lead-containing pottery and to post warning signs informing customers of the lead hazards associated with these products.

New Yorkers should avoid using the following types of pottery to prepare, store, or serve food or beverages:

• Ceramic items that are labeled for decorative use only or that contain a warning label, such as: “Not suitable for food use; may poison food.”

• Handmade ceramic items with a rough appearance or irregular shape.

• Antique ceramic items.

• Damaged or worn ceramic items.

• Ceramic items that are purchased at flea markets, street vendors, or stores where you cannot determine who the manufacturer is or information on how the product is made.

New Yorkers currently using traditional ceramic utensils to prepare, cook, serve, or store food should request a blood lead test from their physician. Parents should remind their healthcare providers to test children for lead poisoning at ages 1 and 2 and ask older children about testing. New Yorkers can call 3-1-1 to find a provider.

Additionally, the department also continues to provide education and outreach to the public and healthcare providers to raise awareness of the dangers associated with these types of products. To report the locations where these types of traditional ceramic items are sold, call 3-1-1.

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