A stack of vintage fine China teacups
The Toxic Red Flag To Look Out For With Vintage Dinnerware
Vintage dinnerware offers a charming mix of originality and nostalgia, but there’s a danger that it contains poisonous lead. You can stay safe by knowing how to spot risky items.
When assessing vintage dinnerware, consider its age. Avoid ceramics made before 1992, when the FDA tightened its regulations on lead levels, unless they are certified lead-free.
Antique and handmade dinnerware, especially those with bright red, yellow, or orange decorations, may contain more lead. This also applies to heavily worn or damaged pieces.
While modern U.S. dishware is safe, items from countries not regulated by American laws may still contain lead. The FDA uses its "Red List" to help identify high risk imports.

When in doubt, opt for modern reproductions or thoroughly vet vintage items, especially if they are brightly colored or damaged. You could also use a home lead testing kit.