I love vintage Pyrex, you will see it on my page and social media a lot. However, there is something to be aware of when it comes to most vintage dishes and cookware, including Pyrex. It can have lead.
Vintage Pyrex does often have lead in the coatings. So you may wonder why I’m using it. I have done a lot of research on this issue and have found that it’s the outside of the item that is of concern and the biggest concern is when it’s damaged.
I am very careful with my Pyrex and use it in a very limited way. The only time I use the bowls for food is if the food is packaged (like a candy) or as mixing bowls. And I never use them with acidic ingredients. Almost all of the time I just use them decoratively.
I also always hand wash my Pyrex, which is important to keep them in good condition. I also do not have children. I’m not sure I would use my vintage Pyrex if I did as they are far more susceptible to lead poisoning. This and if you are planning on having children is something to consider when deciding what you feel comfortable with.
I do recommend for most of your food use, especially long-term food storage, that you use new, clear glass containers or stainless steel. Both are the safest options. I love to use modern Pyrex for most of my food use. It’s affordable, good quality, and very safe. I mostly cook in stainless steel. Creo also makes some glass mixing bowls that have a vintage Pyrex feel, they are a bit pricier than the clear glass Pyrex but are very pretty.
Pyrex also has come out with a Vintage Charm line that is inspired by the vintage pieces but should be safe and meet current lead standards. They are also dishwasher safe.
I’m not a lead expert or doctor, this is just what I have found. I do want to stress again that vintage Pyrex often does contain lead, that is not the question, the question is if it’s accessible under normal conditions. There isn’t a clear answer so you need to decide for yourself and your family if you feel comfortable using it or not.
Original photo credit- Joelk75