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Wednesday, May 12, 2010 

Forget the pesticides in your food

What in blazes is in your plates?
Lead is considered toxic and it's a key ingredient in millions of dinner plates, cereal bowls and other dishes we use every day. Federal regulators say, in most dishes, the lead poses no health risk, but some local health officials say the high amount of lead found in many dishes is "too risky" and shouldn't be permitted. When it comes to lead in your dishes, how much is too much – and how can you tell whether your plates contain dangerous levels of lead?

In one hand, Daniel Fries holds a colorful fruit bowl. In the other, a $30,000 XRF analyzer that will tell him how much lead is inside the dish.

He gently presses the analyzer against the bowl, pulls the trigger and, a few seconds later, the test is complete.

"Wow, that's a lot," said Fries, an environmental health specialist at the Marion County Health Department. "The inside of the bowl came back at ten percent lead. It's a shock to think there's that much lead in this, and it's something I wouldn't use anymore if it was mine." -

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