Malaysians Are Going Crazy Over These Pretty Plates & Bowls That May Be Harmful To Health

These tableware may contain lead that may leach into food or drink.

Cover image via Shirin Aziha

Netizens have been raving about beautiful bowls and plates that are being sold around Klang Valley recently

Image via Rizal Hakimm

These pretty ceramic crockeries, now dubbed as 'pinggan viral', have been in hot demand ever since posts on social media depicted how there are so many choices for everyone and how affordable they are.

Many residents in the city have rushed to one particular store located in Central Market which has gained attention from these viral posts, as the public scrambled to get their hands on one (or more) of these unique and potteries that cost as little as RM2 each.

Besides Central Market, people have also been flocking to several other locations including Centre Point in Bandar Utama to buy this crockery.

Image via Vitdaily

However, a Universiti Malaya (UM) senior lecturer has warned the public against using this type of tableware because they are potentially hazardous if used for cooking, preparing, serving, or storing food or drinks

Image via Shirin Aziha

Dr Nor Asrina Sairi told mStar Online that lead, which is a toxic substance, is usually used in the production of this type of decorative bowls and plates made of ceramic.

According to the senior lecturer of the Department of Chemistry, it is therefore not recommended to use such tableware as the lead can contaminate the food or drinks served in the bowls and cups.

"It is dangerous in the long term, for children, pregnant women and infants, although the risks are not direct nor indirect."

"It's more of a small quantity, but if we use it often over a long period of time, it will affect our health," she was quoted as saying.

Despite her concerns, Nor Asrina did say that it would be unfair to ban the society from using such crockery

Image via Mazlianul Yusma

She explained that if the colour or coating is on the external part a crockery it is still acceptable.

However, she said it's worrying when even the inner parts of a product are also coated with lead glazes.

She also offered some advice and recommendations for those who are using these ceramic tableware:

1. Do not to serve acidic foods or drinks such as oranges, apples, tomatoes, soy sauce, sauces, coffee, tea or fruit juices on ceramic bowls and plates

2. Do not heat food in ceramic crockery.

3. Do not put or store hot food on the surface that leaches lead.

It's important to note that the practices listed above are to prevent or slow down the lead-leaching process so that lead will not be drawn into the food or drink.

Nor Asrina's suggestions are also in line with Australia's Department of The Environment and Energy's guidelines on how to reduce the exposure to lead from crockery.

Image via Rizal Hakimm

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