Is There Lead in Old Pyrex Dishes?

Yes, almost all vintage Pyrex bowls and baking dishes contain large amounts of lead. Learn more about lead in old Pyrex dishes, safety concerns and alternatives.

Are you worried that your vintage Pyrex dishes might contain lead?

Many people are concerned about the potential health hazards of using old Pyrex dishes, mainly since lead-based paint and glazes have been found on some vintage dishes.

The good news is that Pyrex dishes are not made with lead and do not contain lead-based glazes.

I have an extensive collection of vintage Pyrex dishes, and I have studied the material composition of these dishes in detail. In this article, I will explain why Pyrex dishes are lead-free, debunk some myths about the presence of lead in these dishes, and provide advice on how to identify and safely use vintage Pyrex dishes.

By the end of this post, you’ll better understand how to safely use your vintage Pyrex dishes and be confident in their safety. Keep reading to learn more about lead in vintage Pyrex dishes.

What is Pyrex?

Pyrex is a brand of borosilicate glassware that has been around since 1915. It is known for its durability and resistance to thermal shock. It was initially used in laboratories and industrial settings, but it eventually became popular for use in home kitchens and bakeware. Pyrex dishes store food, cook food in the oven, and even serve food on the table.

Is There Lead in Old Pyrex Dishes?

Yes, it is possible for old Pyrex dishes to contain lead. Lead can make its way into Pyrex dishes through manufacturing or wear and tear over time. Many vintage Pyrex dishes from the 1950s and 1960s were produced with lead in the glaze or paint. Even if there wasn’t lead present when the dish was made initially, it could leach into your food over time due to wear and tear or exposure to acidic or high-temperature foods.

Overview of Potential Health Risks Associated with Lead

Lead is a heavy metal that can be toxic when ingested. It can damage the brain, nervous system, and other organs. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of lead poisoning as their bodies are still developing. Lead can also cause learning disabilities, developmental delays, and long-term health problems.

Pyrex Manufacturing Process and Whether Lead is Used in This Process

Pyrex is manufactured using compression tempering, which involves heating glass at high temperatures and cooling it quickly under pressure. This process produces strong, durable glass resistant to thermal shock and breakage. Lead is not used in any part of this process as it has been banned from consumer products since 1978 due to health concerns.

History of Pyrex and How it Has Changed Over the Years

Pyrex was created in 1915 by Corning Glass Works as a type of heat-resistant glassware for laboratories. In 1942, Corning introduced its first consumer-grade glass bakeware made from borosilicate glass which was designed to be more durable than traditional glassware. This type of Pyrex bakeware was produced until 1999, when it was replaced by tempered soda-lime glassware that is much more resistant to thermal shock and breakage than previous versions.

Explanation of How Lead Can Make Its Way into Pyrex Dishes

Lead was sometimes used in the glaze or paint on old Pyrex dishes made before 1970. Rubbing away at this glaze or paint over time through use or contact with acidic foods can cause lead to leach into your food. It’s also possible for lead to enter Pyrex dishes through the manufacturing process if they aren’t produced with care or in a clean environment.

Types of Pyrex Dishes That Are More Likely to Contain Lead

Vintage Pyrex dishes made before 1970 are more likely to contain lead than newer dishes due to their use of lead-based glazes or paints. Specific colours such as red, yellow, blue, black, and green were more likely to contain lead than other colours like white or clear. Additionally, any dish with a painted design or pattern may contain lead due to the paint used in its production.

How to Test for Lead in Old Pyrex Dishes

Suppose you’re concerned about potential lead contamination in your old Pyrex dishes. In that case, several testing methods can help you determine if they contain any hazardous levels of lead. The most common method is an at-home test kit that uses a swabbing technique to detect lead on the dish’s surface. These kits typically come with instructions on how to use them correctly and safely. Additionally, you may want to consider sending your dishes off for lab testing if you want more accurate results.

Tips for Safely Using Old Pyrex Dishes

  • If you do have some vintage Pyrex dishes that might contain lead, there are several ways you can reduce your risk of exposure when using them:
  • Use separate sets of dishes for everyday use and special occasions; don’t mix them up with newer dishes so you don’t accidentally expose yourself or others to any potential contaminants.
  • Always wash your hands after handling old Pyrex dishes; this will help reduce the chance of ingesting any lead particles that may be present on the surface of the dish.
  • Don’t use old Pyrex dishes for cooking acidic foods such as tomatoes or citrus fruits; these foods can react with any potential contaminants on the dish’s surface and release them into your food.
  • Don’t store food in old Pyrex dishes; instead, store them separately from food items, so they don’t come into contact with any potential contaminants.
  • Discard any old Pyrex dishes that have worn surfaces or damaged glazes; these may contain higher contaminants than newer dishes due to their age and wear and tear over time.

Bottom Line

It’s important to understand that old Pyrex dishes may contain lead which can be hazardous if ingested. If you want peace of mind about using your vintage Pyrex dishes safely, consider testing them for lead using an at-home test kit or sending them off for lab testing if you need more accurate results. Additionally, take safety precautions when using these dishes, such as using separate sets for everyday use and special occasions, washing your hands after handling them, avoiding cooking acidic foods in them, storing them away from food items, and discarding any damaged pieces immediately.


Is lead present in Pyrex dishes?

It depends on when the Pyrex dishes were manufactured. Before 1998, Pyrex dishes were made with lead-based glazing. These dishes may contain lead that could leach into food if not correctly cared for and stored. However, after 1998 all Pyrex dishes were made with lead-free glazing.

Are vintage Pyrex dishes safe to use?

Vintage Pyrex dishes may contain lead which can be dangerous if ingested in large doses. To ensure the safety of your vintage Pyrex dishes, it is essential to properly test them for lead using an XRF gun or a lead test kit before using them for food preparation or storage.

Can lead leach from Pyrex dishes?

Lead can leach from Pyrex dishes if not adequately cared for and stored. Before 1998, Pyrex dishes were made with lead-based glazing, which can leach into food over time. Therefore, it is essential to test your vintage Pyrex dishes for lead before using them for food preparation or storage.

What should I do if my Pyrex dish tests positive for lead?

If your Pyrex dish tests positive for lead, it is essential to dispose of it properly and not use it for food preparation or storage. It is also recommended to replace any other vintage Pyrex dishes with newer, lead-free versions.

Does Pyrex contain cadmium?

No, Pyrex does not contain cadmium. Pyrex is made of borosilicate glass which does not contain cadmium and is non-toxic and safe for use in cookware and bakeware.

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Meet Fuad, the passionate baker behind Bakingbakewaresets Blog. With years of experience, Fuad shares his favorite recipes, baking tips, and recommendations for the best bakeware sets. His goal is to help readers achieve success in their baking endeavors, whether they're beginners or experienced bakers.