Migration of heavy metals from ceramics, glass, and enameled articles

Migration of lead and cadmium from ceramics, glass, and enameled articles.

For ceramic articles and tableware, limits defined in Commission Directive 2005/31/EC (amending Council Directive 84/500/EEC) apply:


Limit for lead

Limit for cadmium

Articles which cannot be filled and articles which can be filled, the internal depth of which, measured from the lowest point to the horizontal plane passing through the upper rim, does not exceed 25 mm

0.8 mg/dm2

0.07 mg/dm2

All other articles which can be filled

4.0 mg/l

0.3 mg/l

Cooking ware; packaging and storage vessels having a capacity of more than three liters

1.5 mg/l

0.1 mg/l

In addition, limits for the release of lead (2 mg/article) and cadmium (0.2 mg/article) for articles with a lip and rim area (such as cups and mugs) have been defined in standard ISO 4531-1/2:1998.

For glass and enameled products, no harmonized regulation exists currently within the European Union. By convention, limits defined by Commission Directive 2005/31/EC can be applied, however, additional or separate restrictions can be imposed on a national level regarding migration limits, tested elements, and/or test conditions.

Examples of specific requirements defined at a national level are listed below:

Member state


Specific requirements*


Fiche MCDA n°2 (V01 – 01/05/2016)

Ceramics & glass:

  • separate migration limits for articles with a lip and rim area

  • migration limits for Al, Co, As

Enameled and decorated articles other than ceramics

  • migration limit for Cr VI


Ministerial Decree of 21/03/1975, as amended

Lead glass

  • separate test method and migration limit for Pb

The Netherlands

Commodities Act

(Packagings and

Consumer Articles)

Glass and glass ceramics

  • separate migration limits for Sb, As, Ba, B, Cd, Ce, Cr, F, Co, Li, Pb, Mn, Ni, Rb, Zr

Ceramics and enamels

  • separate migration limits for As, Ba, B, Cd, Cr, Co, Hg, Li, Pb, Rb, Se, Sr


Degree (KTM) 268/1992

Glass, enamels, and ceramics with lip and rim area and/or intended for toddlers

  • separate migration limits for Pb, Cd, Ni, Cr

* Testing for specific requirements is possible for an additional cost

Available test methods have been listed below:

Material type

Product type

Migration method

Available methods


Flatware (e.g. plates)

Total immersion

EN 1388-1, ASTM C 738


Holloware (e.g. cups)

Article fill

EN 1388-1, ASTM C 738


Flatware (e.g. plates)

Total immersion

EN 1388-2


Holloware (e.g. cups)

Article fill

ISO 7086-1

Ceramics, glass, enameled metal

Holloware (e.g. cups)

Lip and rim test

ASTM C 927

Suitable sample matrices
Ceramics, glass, enameled articles
Required sample quantity
6 pieces of sample material (finished products or raw materials)
Typical turnaround time
3 weeks after receiving the samples
Available quality systems
Accredited testing laboratory
Device types


Price per sample (Excl. VAT):
190 €

We also charge a 97 € service fee per order.

Large batches of samples are eligible for discounts.

Questions? We're happy to help.

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