In an article published on April 16, 2020, regulatory news provider Chemical Watch reported on Mexico’s expected publication of a revised standard for lead in glazed pottery. Lead is still commonly used by artisanal pottery makers due to the much lower firing temperature it requires. A 2017 study found close to 200 µg/L of lead migrating from glazed pottery into food and water, and the government has estimated that 1 in 11 children under the age of 5 in the country has lead poisoning. There are multiple standards in Mexico addressing lead content in various uses, but these are seen as being inconsistent. One of these standards set in 2016 applies to glazed pottery and includes a lead migration limit of 0.5 mg/L for articles that come into contact with food. However, critics have argued this limit is ineffective at protecting those exposed to lead during the manufacturing process. They are instead pushing for limits on total lead content in pottery, not just on migration.
Previous efforts to convince manufacturers in the country to switch to safer glaze alternatives are reported to not have been successful. The government has confirmed that a new standard will be released later this year, but it has not yet provided any further details on what it might include.
Ginger Hervey (April 16, 2020). “Mexico to tackle lead in glazed pottery, other consumer products.” Chemical Watch
Diaz-Ruiz, A. et al. (June 14, 2020). “Glazed clay pottery and lead exposure in Mexico: Current experimental evidence.” National Neuroscience