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Design In Mind, Inc.
2885 Country Dr Ste 145
Saint Paul, MN 55117 USA
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devotea logo... Date Printed: 05-18-2022

Import Product Safety

There has been much talk in the news media about heavy metal contamination on imported products, mainly toys, coming primarily from China. As usual, these stories tend to imply nothing is safe, without actually investigating to see what safety regulations are in place.

The primary concerns are the metals lead and cadmium. One might ask: Why these specifically? Why not all heavy metals? These two are specifically targeted because they have been frequently used in paints and glazes to achieve bright reds and yellows at a low cost, and because these can accumulate in the body to reach toxic levels of exposure.

Ceramicware intended for daily use with food is inspected by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Inspections can occur on arrival at a US port of entry, but often are done through a cooperative relationship with inspection agencies in the country of manufacture. Such is the case with China.

The FDA maintains a relationship with the China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureaus to establish and maintain certified factories within China for products intended for Export to the USA. With regard to ceramicware, the specifics of this relationship, as well as the US standards to be applied, are contained in a Memorandum of Understanding, (MOU), signed by both agencies.

For the US consumer, the key points to note about Chinese ceramicware imports are that:

  • Inspections are done regularly on export shipments from each factory.
  • Products from certified factories are marked with a label indicating compliance.
  • The FDA also routinely monitors compliance through spot checking shipments arriving in the US.

Ceramicware items, including children's teasets, that are made in China and sold through Design In Mind, Inc. are expected to arrive with the proper labeling indicating compliance with the FDA program. Occasionally this labeling is attached to the consumer packaging, but more frequently, unfortunately, it is attached only to the shipping cartons.

With regard to products made in other countries, the same standards are applied by the FDA, whether or not testing is accomplished at the source or on arrival.