pendalum It hurts me to say this but there have been cases of different kinds of health problems attributed to antiques, vintage pieces and older collectibles. Says the girl (me) who jumps head first into every mangled box she finds at an estate sale.

Other than quickly wiping my hands I have never second guessed what I might be getting myself into.

Here are a few tips on what to look out for. These are not all of the potential toxic treasures out there but a few of the most hazardous ones to your health.

Every heard the expression “drop dead gorgeous” I once heard it came from a time when Victorian women would dance the night away and the arsenical dust from their gowns plagued ballrooms. Harsh levels of arsenic was found in vintage green clothing and most commonly gowns (dresses) in the 19th century. Avoid green tarlatan dresses (fabric) and the Scheele’s Green agent I believe to have been used in dye. Arsenical pigments have also been detected in stockings in the red colour family. Some candles, curtains, and wallpapers from the period were also known to contain harmful levels of arsenic.

Mercury was once used to weight old lamp bases and antique clock pendulums as well as act as the reflective surface behind glass mirrors in the mirror backing. Make sure you are additionally cautious when buying dated barometers and thermometers. You should check for damage and ensure seals on these items are mercury leak proof.

Radium or Tritium can be found in old clocks and watches circa the early 1900’s. Beware of those that glow in the dark. It seems like shiny things with an intriguing glow weren’t so great back then. Back in the day it was also said that Uranium was added to Vaseline glass to give it a yellow-ish green glow.

Unfortunately toxic amounts of lead have been found in thrift and consignment store collectibles such as dishware, jewelry and antique toys. Look out for furniture where lead-based paint may have been used too.

Colourful ceramics made in the 1960’s attract the eye because of their radiant glazes but the glaze may have Radionuclides in it. Pottery and Tiles also fit this mould.

I am not a health expert so cannot suggest all the side effects or health issues that may derive from contact with these items relayed above I am merely just sharing years of information I have come across.

At the end of the day it is always a rush to find that “piece to die for” but not literally speaking.

 

 

19 thoughts on “Old treasures that can be toxic

  1. Admiring the time and effort you put into your site and in depth information you offer.
    It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out
    of date rehashed information. Great read! I’ve saved your
    site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  2. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.
    I will make certain to bookmark your blog and will often come back
    in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great work, have
    a nice holiday weekend!

  3. Hey there I am so delighted I found your website, I reaoly fohnd you
    by accident, while I was browsing on Aol for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like
    to say thanks a lot for a fantastic post aand a aall round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to look over it all at the moment but I have saved itt
    and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will
    be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up thee awesome b.

  4. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters
    and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be
    much more useful than ever before.

  5. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you may
    be a great author. I will always bookmark your blog and will come back
    in the future. I want to encourage you continue your
    great writing, have a nice afternoon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s