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Int Sch Res Notices. 2014 Oct 29;2014:474176. doi: 10.1155/2014/474176. eCollection 2014.

Do Glazed Ceramic Pots in a Mexico-US Border City Still Contain Lead?

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School of Medicine and Psychology, Autonomous University of Baja California, 14418 Calzada Tecnologico, 22390 Tijuana, BCN, Mexico.
MSN/FNP Program, United States University, 830 Bay Boulevard, Chula Vista, CA 91911, USA.
School of Public Health, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182, USA.


In order to identify the presence of lead in glazed ceramic pots in a Mexico-US border city, 41 clay pots were sampled. The pots were purchased in several establishments located in different geographical areas of the city. The presence of lead was determined using LeadCheck Swabs. Most (58.5%) of the pots were from the State of Jalisco and 24.4% were of unknown origin. Only 4 pots did not contain varnish and were lead-negative. Thirty-seven (81.1%) of the glazed pots were lead positive. Among the lead-negative pots, 4 showed the label "this pot is lead-free." Thus, if we consider the remaining 33 glazed pots without the "Lead-Free" label, 90.9% were lead-positive and only 9.1% were lead-negative. We also found that earthenware glazed utensils without the "Lead-Free" label were 1.6 times more likely to contain lead (OR: 1.6, 95% CI 1.0-2.5), P = 0.003. We concluded that lead was detected in almost all acquired food containers. Government interventions in Mexico have focused on training manufacturers to make lead-free glazed ceramics but it has been difficult to eradicate this practice. Educational interventions to make and acquire lead-free glazed ceramics should be targeted to both sellers and buyers.

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