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Dangers of lead

 By the way, is anyone else given pause when about to drink coffee
from one of those brightly colored imported mugs? 

OK folks, I’ve stepped up on my soap box. My blood pressure still
rises at the thought of my wonderful leaded enamels being outlawed in
the USA. I fully understand the health concerns but am confused as to
why I can’t purchase leaded enamels to create my cloisonne jewelry but
can still buy [at a very high price] lead crystal goblets to drink
wine from.

While enameling we were always told to wear dust masks when sifting.
During the lead enamel days I believe there may have been a slight
issue with the lead but as others have stated already, the lead is
encapsulated within the glass frit. More important was the fact that
we would be breathing glass dust into our lungs and the lungs just do
not like that at all.

Also, for 20 years I created leaded art glass panels. I was
constantly handling pure lead came and lead solder. My hands would
become dirty with the oxides and of course I would wash them. After
years of this I was tested for lead in my body and had normal
readings. As for breathing the fumes, I was told that this is only a
concern at the temperatures that lead vaporizes, not the lower melting
temperature. Now those soldering flux fumes are another matter!!

Orchid Rules…Karla in S. California

 My blood pressure still rises at the thought of my wonderful leaded
enamels being outlawed in the USA. 

Karla, I was under the impression that Thompson discontinued the
leaded enamels because of dangers in the manufacturing process rather
than danger to the enamelist. I, too, objected and quit enameling to
learn metalsmithing. Now I combine both, I like the lead-free enamels
on fine silver in cloisonne. You can still buy lead based Japanese and
French enamels in the U.S. Donna in VA

so lead has been identified as a harm to mankind… if we are to
remove all lead from our live… i would think that impossible…
kinda like asbestos ya know… no matter how ya look at it , your
choice brings you what you receive… i am not saying there are those
that are not unknowing, but we , educated should take the first steps
to eliminate things from our lives that harms us and others. How
many $.25 machines spew lead toys and garbage to our children… Look
at k mart and target…they have lead based jewelry and now it’s
gone… Not soon enough if you ask me… Part of our
responsibilities as manufacturers is to protect those we serve… Not
kill them… Take every step you can to be safe… how many 100 year
old jewelers have you heard of?

For that fact lack of concern by those that pursue the might buck
results in the workplace being a giant hazard… I should know,
cyanide has affected my liver… let alone what has the rest of the
stuff done ? have a great day… Ringman John