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Old 11-29-2008, 08:49 AM   #1
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Can cast iron be poison?

It's something I had not considered until I read about some brands of cast iron being made from scrap iron. I still would not have considered it if it were not for the recent problems with some items from china.

I had an old cast iron skillet that was polished to a perfect smooth finish through years of polishing with my own hands and usage! I somehow misplaced it when we moved and got a new lodge one the other day.

Then, as I knew it would happen, I found my old one! The old one is smaller than my new 12 inch lodge so I'm still glad I have two, but the old one that I had used so long has "tiawan" on the bottom, no brand or anything.

I got it from my parents who probably go it at a yard sale. Is it possible for iron to have lead or other heavy metals in it? I used it a lot and have never become ill that I know of.

I have been perusing wagner on ebay but don't want to replace my old one if I don't have too, I already have too much stuff. I tried to sand my lodge but I only had super fine 1000 grit emory cloth so it's going to take awhile. People seem to like them like that anyway so I probably won't bother anymore with changing the surface of my new lodge skillet and instead just concentrate on seasoning it.

I have heard of lead pottery and lead crystal but never lead iron. I would think that impurities would separate during the melting and casting process but then who thought you could mess up heparin and dogfood.

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Old 11-29-2008, 09:09 AM   #2
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I would not be concerned. The old pan is well seasoned so food does not even come in contact with the metal, just the seasoning.

The same is true of the Lodge, once it's seasoned. I believe the Lodge is made in the USA
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:07 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by margoc
I probably won't bother anymore with changing the surface of my new lodge skillet and instead just concentrate on seasoning it.
With use and proper care your Lodge pan will become as smooth as your old one. It just takes time/use. Andy is correct --- Lodge Cast Iron is Made in South Pittsburg Tennessee, USA. Their Enamel line is imported however ---
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:09 AM   #4
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My new Lodge pieces are seasoning up real nice.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by margoc View Post
It's something I had not considered until I read about some brands of cast iron being made from scrap iron. I still would not have considered it if it were not for the recent problems with some items from china.

I had an old cast iron skillet that was polished to a perfect smooth finish through years of polishing with my own hands and usage! I somehow misplaced it when we moved and got a new lodge one the other day.

Then, as I knew it would happen, I found my old one! The old one is smaller than my new 12 inch lodge so I'm still glad I have two, but the old one that I had used so long has "tiawan" on the bottom, no brand or anything.

I got it from my parents who probably go it at a yard sale. Is it possible for iron to have lead or other heavy metals in it? I used it a lot and have never become ill that I know of.

I have been perusing wagner on ebay but don't want to replace my old one if I don't have too, I already have too much stuff. I tried to sand my lodge but I only had super fine 1000 grit emory cloth so it's going to take awhile. People seem to like them like that anyway so I probably won't bother anymore with changing the surface of my new lodge skillet and instead just concentrate on seasoning it.

I have heard of lead pottery and lead crystal but never lead iron. I would think that impurities would separate during the melting and casting process but then who thought you could mess up heparin and dogfood.
This is probably more than you want to know about cast iron, but here you go: What is an cast iron? - Yahoo! Answers

It can actually be healthful for people with anemia; some of the iron leaches into the food, but it contains no lead that I can find out. HTH.
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:06 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info, I was wondering if it were really possible. Considering where scrap iron comes from and the lack of incidents of bad skillets I guess I am safe.

I should post pics of my tiwanese skillet, It's as smooth as a wagner, and after all I have put it though it has not warped or cracked or anything like that.

My new one is larger, it's nice having two, I can make pancakes twice as fast now! Or more bacon.
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:38 PM   #7
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I can tell you that Chinese glazed coffee mugs and dishes often have lead in them and I will not use them. I do not know about the cast iron but I think one is best buying Lodgeware. (Although I don't own a piece of cast iron--it is too heavy to use and too big a pain to clean and keep seasoned. I would feel the need to put it in soap and water--a big no no. Although my grandma used it for a potato kugel and it was amazing.)
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:24 AM   #8
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You can wash them with soap and water!! I do and look how many other people do. You can't SOAK them in water or soap though. I also have a putty knife I keep by the sink to scrape it with. It's actually easy to clean. I got a 12 inch lodge before I finally found my old one and it's kind of heavy, making it a little harder to clean. Easy to cook with though, it's almost like having a griddle! It's seriously heavy though. I don't consider myself weak but I cannot easily lift it with one hand, I have to use the second handle.


I think the seasoning can be as easy or hard as you make it. I alternate! Sometimes I really fuss to get that perfect black finish. Most of the time I clean it when needed with 1000 grit paper and keep oil on it. I read one thread where someone confessed they PUT THEIRS IN THE DISHWASHER sometimes!!! I have never done that. I might try it the next time when it's time to reseason. Actually I just got a new one off the web, maybe I'll try it on that one, and post pics.

The last one I got off ebay seemed to have a thin seasoning on it and has gotten really nice after cooking in it a few times.

I used to use cast iron all the time but "lost" it for a few years. Now that I have found it again and am using it I appreciate how there are some foods that simply are better cooked in cast iron.
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:36 AM   #9
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I love cast iron - do as much as possible with it..

and I must admit, I use soap with it.. I know, it is said you shouldn't, but if you forget to clean it instantly, you sometimes have to use soap :whistle:
but I never put it in the dishwasher and my DH was introduced to never ever do that, too..
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:22 AM   #10
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I used to work for a company that made foundry equipment, much of which was sold to Chinese foundries. It is my experience that the Chinese foundries don't really give a crap what they put into the melting furnaces.

I never went there, but one of my colleagues told me that he would see them put car bumpers in for chromium, a shock absorber was put in by mistake causing a furnace to explode, and all sorts of painted metal which could be a significant source of lead.

Chances are that cast iron pots and pans are not a significant source of lead, but you can never be too careful with anything made in China these days...
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