Effect of microwave heating on leaching of lead from old ceramic dinnerware
When samples of pre-1950s U.S.-made ceramic dinnerware, purchased in antique shops and flea markets, were filled with 4% acetic acid or 0.5% citric acid and heated in a microwave oven for 2-5 min, lead was leached in amounts of up to 5 mg per dish. Concentrations of lead in the leachates were not significantly correlated with, and could not be predicted from, concentrations in leachates measured during 24-h room temperature acid leaching tests. Unsafe lead concentrations (>3 microg/ ml) were found in microwave leachates of dishes with uranium-containing glazes, with copper-containing glazes, and with floral over-the-glaze decals. This evidence suggests that use of such dishes to microwave common foods could result in the ingestion of dangerously large amounts of lead.
Sheets, Ralph W., Sandra L. Turpen, and Patrick Hill. "Effect of microwave heating on leaching of lead from old ceramic dinnerware." Science of the total environment 182, no. 1-3 (1996): 187-191.
The Science of the Total Environment