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Pottery/Safety of LeCreuset Made in China

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Question
Dear Ti, Your thoughtful response to the fellow who asked about the red glaze on his dishes from China really got me thinking about the quality of the LeCreuset French Onion bowls I just purchased. Foolishly, I assumed they were from France - then turned them over - 2 were made in China and 3 in Thailand! Do you think the name LeCreuset guarantees that LeCreuset checks the safety of the manufacturers in these countries? Or, are they just selling their name and don't really care about that? Do you think I should return them ASAP - and find some locally. The reason I liked them, is they can withstand the broiler (500 degrees) - but, it's not worth risking my friends and family's health. Would really appreciate your take on this. Best regards, Bridget

Answer
Dear Bridget,

    Thank you for your recent question. I personally own a complete set of LeCreuset ware, and continue to purchase the products today. Over the years, I have leach tested those items that have come from China and Thailand only to find they are safe with no leaching qualities. This means the enamel has been baked onto the cast iron at a temperature rendering the enamel safe to use.
    The US has put very strict laws into affect for items coming into the US with lead or cadmium content. This is especially true for functional ware. Also, LeCreuset owns the businesses in China and Thailand and therefore continue to live by their standards of production. They do not use any toxic raw materials in their enamel ware.

    In my opinion, your cookware and bowls should be fine to use. However, if they become pitted or the enamel chips, you should send them back to the manufacturer and have them replaced. Not because of leaching, but because food particles can become entrapped and create a bacterial hazard.

    I hope I have answered your questions. If you have further questions, please fell free to contact me again at any time. I am always at your service.

Sincerely,
Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat
www.earthstokenfire.com  

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Ti Phillips

Expertise

Will answer any questions on hand building, wheel, glaze, firing. Speciality questions to include those in glaze calculation and development, firing techniques. Please do not send questions on identifying pottery. Although I would love to add this to my question topics, I have a retreat to run as well as the studio and volunteering on AllExperts, and therefore do not have the available time to research indentification and marks. Thank you for understanding.

Experience

Experience includes 30 years in pottery design and education. Have taught online and studio classes worldwide for the last 20 years. Own a pottery retreat specializing in firing techniques. Have 12 years solid experience in glaze calculation and formulation as well as problem solving in glaze chemistry. I am the first potter in the United States to have developed a complete package of pottery equipment blueprints for a studio. The blueprints include wheels, kilns, studio furniture, wedgeboards, raku kilns, slab rollers, ball mills and studio tools.

Organizations
Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Publications
Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

Education/Credentials
University of Sciences and Art's of Oklahoma, studied under Professor Jaymes Dudding.

Awards and Honors
Potter of the year with APAWA, various awards for showmanship and design.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon request.

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