[Thanks to Malcolm for the inspiration to finally write this post!]
Is there lead in bathtubs? Really?
Short answer: “Yes!”
Lead in older bathtubs is a big issue—and yet usually overlooked as a potential source of toxicity for children. Both porcelain and enamel coatings can have extremely high levels of lead – both in the surface coating (glaze) and substrate. In my experience – using an XRF and testing tubs around the country in my travels – I have seen up to 300,000 parts per million (and on occasion even higher), and since it can be quite difficult or costly to remove and/or replace a bath tub, in many cases the tubs stay in place and the hazards (from deteriorating surfaces) persist – even after an extensive remodel or update.
Note: I have tested several recently manufactured tubs that were completely lead-free! So newer does seem to be better in this case!
Dallas Morning News – October 2013
“Old bathtubs found to pose lead exposure risks for children”
From the following site: http://www.fhco.org/lead.htm
“In addition to lead-based paint on the walls or salvaged pieces brought into the home, it has been determined that about 75% of pre-1978 bathtubs have lead in their glaze and that about 40% of these tubs will have measurable levels of lead dust when dust samples are collected from the surface of the glaze. Older claw foot tubs, like well-appointed front doors, are another popular retro salvage yard item.”
Another piece (from 1995):
Lead in worn ceramic glaze confirmed
From Hudson Valley Parent
Lead in Bathtubs Could Be Poisoning Your Child
Where Lead Hides from University of Southern California
Facts about Lead in Porcelain & Cermaic Glazes, by the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board – Lead Hazard Reduction Program.
An old post of mine (Tamara)
And – on top of all this, from the CDC NIOSH Science Blog, from February 4, 2013
Dangers of Bathtub Refinishing
Thanks for reading! If you have another link that you think belongs here, please let me know and I will add it to this collection.