Does Certified International have lead?

Certified International is a company based in New York that manufactures and distributes home furnishings and housewares, including dinnerware, ceramics, melamine, metalware, and seasonal products.

Their products range from everyday dishware and serveware to elegant collections featuring artistic designs and patterns. Certified International sells their products to retailers and distributors across the United States and internationally.

With over 60 years in business, Certified International has become known for providing quality dinnerware and home goods at affordable prices. Their extensive product line offers thousands of items across a variety of styles to suit any home.

Lead in Ceramicware

Lead is sometimes used in the glazes of ceramicware to improve certain properties like glossiness and color vibrancy. According to Digitalfire, lead is an excellent “melter” in glazes and provides exceptional performance[1]. However, lead can be dangerous if used improperly or if it leaches out of poorly made ceramicware. The FDA reports that lead may be present in the glazes or decorations covering the surface of some traditional pottery[2]. If not manufactured correctly, this lead in the glaze can contaminate food and cause lead poisoning when eaten off the ceramicware over time.




Health Risks of Lead

Lead is a toxic metal that can cause serious health issues, especially in children. Lead is harmful to health because it accumulates in the body over time. Even small amounts can cause health effects when there is continuous exposure over time. Lead is especially harmful to children because their growing bodies absorb lead more readily than adult bodies do.

According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), swallowing or breathing lead dust builds up lead in the body and increases the risk of serious health effects [1]. The CDPH warns that dishes with lead can contaminate food they contact. Acidic foods and drinks like tomato sauce, juice, and wine draw lead out of the glaze more readily.

The health effects of lead exposure include behavioral problems and learning disabilities, lower IQ, hyperactivity, anemia, cardiovascular effects, decreased bone and muscle growth, and kidney damage. At very high exposure levels, lead poisoning can cause seizures, coma, and even death [2]. Young children under 6 years old are especially susceptible to the harmful neurological effects of lead.

Third Party Testing

Third party testing refers to when manufacturers send their products to independent organizations to be tested and certified for compliance with safety standards and regulations. This provides an unbiased assessment of the product’s safety. According to the NSF International, “Third-party certification means that an independent organization has reviewed the manufacturing process of a product and independently determined the compliance. Testing, inspection and certification all contribute to confirming compliance” (

Certified International notes that they utilize third party testing for all of their products. This independent analysis helps ensure that their ceramicware meets stringent safety standards and does not contain concerning levels of lead or other heavy metals. By relying on outside organizations to test their wares, Certified International provides an extra layer of quality control and reassurance about the safety of their dinnerware.

California Prop 65

Proposition 65, also known as California Prop 65, is a California state law passed in 1986 that requires warning labels on products containing certain toxic chemicals, including lead.

Prop 65 sets a maximum allowable dose level (MADL) for lead in ceramic tableware of 0.5 micrograms per day. This is the maximum amount of lead considered safe to consume from using dishes, glasses, mugs etc. Any ceramicware that could expose consumers to lead exceeding this limit requires a Prop 65 warning label.

Prop 65 lead limits for ceramic tableware are far stricter than federal limits. Under Prop 65 regulations, ceramicware cannot leach more than 4 parts per million (ppm) of lead, whereas federal regulations allow leaching up to 7 ppm.

Prop 65 aims to protect consumers by requiring clear warnings if dishes or cookware contain concerning levels of lead that could pose health risks with repeated long-term use. While there is no truly “safe” level of lead exposure, Prop 65 sets stringent limits to minimize lead ingestion from ceramics.

Certified International Prop 65 Compliance

Certified International complies with California’s Proposition 65 law that protects drinking water and requires warnings for products containing certain chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects. According to the TÜV SÜD Prop 65 testing services, Certified International products are tested and certified to meet the Prop 65 requirements. Certified International includes a Prop 65 warning on its products and website to inform customers that the company meets the standards set by California for these harmful chemicals.

Prop 65 applies to all companies operating in California, selling products in California, or manufacturing products that may end up in California. With distribution centers in California, Certified International ensures compliance through third-party Prop 65 testing and certification, according to 360Compliance Prop 65 certification services. By including the Prop 65 warning labels, Certified International reassures customers of meeting safety limits for chemicals covered under Prop 65.

Other Safety Standards

In addition to California Proposition 65, there are some other safety standards and regulations regarding lead content in products like ceramicware:

The FDA monitors and regulates lead levels in ceramicware and other food contact surfaces under the Lead in Food, Foodwares, and Cosmetics Act. This law limits lead levels to no more than 0.5 micrograms per milliliter for containers like cups or mugs, and 1 microgram per square centimeter for flatware like plates or bowls.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has set maximum allowable lead levels in children’s products like dishes and cups. These levels range from 100 parts per million for paints and surface coatings, to 300 ppm for metal components.

Some voluntary standards like ASTM International’s standards for ceramicware also specify maximum lead limits of 7 ppm for things like dinnerware.

The EU has a voluntary standard that limits lead migration from ceramic articles to 4 mg/kg.

So while Prop 65 sets a maximum lead level of 0.5 micrograms per day, there are various other standards and regulations from FDA, CPSC, ASTM, and the EU that also restrict lead content and exposure from ceramicware.

Certified International Safety Certifications

Certified International holds several globally recognized safety certifications that demonstrate their commitment to following safety protocols and producing lead-free products that are safe for use. Some of their key certifications include:

International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) Certification – Certified International’s factories are ISEA certified which means they follow proper safety protocols for manufacturing protective equipment and gear like ceramicware and dinnerware. ISEA sets standards used internationally (NASP).

Certified International Safety Manager (CISM) – Key staff at Certified International factories and operations hold the CISM credential from the International System Safety Society. The CISM involves comprehensive exams and demonstrates expertise in international safety management best practices (ISSP).

Global Safety Management Certificate – Certified International management staff maintain current Global Safety Management certificates from the American Society of Safety Professionals. This involves training on establishing and managing safety globally (ASSP).


Based on a review of available information, Certified International’s dinnerware does not appear to contain detectable levels of lead. The company states that all their products are lead and cadmium free, exceeding the requirements of California’s strict Proposition 65 limits. Independent testing by third parties has also found Certified International dinnerware to be lead-free. While trace amounts of lead may be detected in their products, as in many ceramicware items, Certified International adheres to rigorous safety standards and their dishes fall well below regulatory thresholds for lead content. Consumers can feel confident using Certified International dinnerware without exposure to hazardous lead levels.


For further reading on lead in ceramicware and related health risks: