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I am a casual collector of fiestaware and I like to use my finds in the kitchen.

I just purchased a set of vintage red (orange, really) plates - the ones with the radioactive paint, apparently.

What I'm wondering is this : Does anyone know if it's safe to eat off of these plates? Maybe it's a silly question but I'd rather not get sick from my plates!

thanks

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Whole generations of people ate off those plates, and nobody got sick from them. The whole radioactive flap got started in the 1950s when the post-war nuclear threat became real and the average guy on the street started hearing about things like uranium, radiation sickness and so forth. The media, not being a whole lot different then than it is now, leaped onto the subject with dire warnings about radiation in all kinds of everyday items such as wristwatches and, of course, dinnerware.

Don't ask me why it was necessary, but just about all red dinnerware up until then contained this tiny, tiny bit of radioactivity in the glaze. You can do an online search if you like and find out the chemical makeup of glazes at the time. But, at any rate, the red Fiesta was taken out of production.

More recently, people have become aware of the dangers of lead in cookware. Lead is a component that was (and may still be -- in non-US made items) contained in some cookware and dinnerware, but Fiesta never contained lead. But since people were concerned about lead, the Homer Laughlin China Company began adding the words "lead-free" to their packaging and some backstamps. So, if you get a piece of Fiesta that is NOT marked "lead-free," please do not conclude that it contains lead. Fiesta never has.

One point you might give thought to is that the old "radioactive red" Fiesta is quite sought after by collectors. If I had some, I might think about not using it to avoid scratching or damaging it, thus diminishing its value.

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thank you very much! I am going to use the plates, but very carefully. Using fiestaware to eat from gives me a lot of pleasure, I know that's kind of silly but it's true. I like to buy damaged pieces for cheap whenever possible so I can use them without worrying.

I also have a shallow bowl in red and a set of three nesting bowls in red blue and yellow. I painted the walls in my house in the old fiesta colours, and am busy designing some shelves to house my little collection.

Thanks again for the speedy reply!

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thank you very much! I am going to use the plates, but very carefully. Using fiestaware to eat from gives me a lot of pleasure, I know that's kind of silly but it's true. I like to buy damaged pieces for cheap whenever possible so I can use them without worrying.

I also have a shallow bowl in red and a set of three nesting bowls in red blue and yellow. I painted the walls in my house in the old fiesta colours, and am busy designing some shelves to house my little collection.

Thanks again for the speedy reply!

Hi -- if you are still interested in slightly damaged pieces of Fiestaware, I am trying to help my mother-in-law sell her collection -- there are many pieces that have only a little ship here or there. Let me know if you would like pictures, etc.

mlptx

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