Free lead testing will be conducted Thursday in Fillmore on ceramic and pottery dishes, particularly those from other countries that can be prone to leaching.
Ventura County residents may bring no more than five pieces of tableware suspected of containing lead, said Shirley Peterson, home economist with the Ventura County University Extension, which is conducting the tests.
Standards for pottery made in the United States are stricter than in other countries, where lead often can be found in the paint, glaze and pottery of cups and dishes brought back to this country.
The test requires about an hour, during which time the dish is treated with citric acid. A strip of chromogen is used to test the acid. If it turns pink, lead is present, Peterson said. Lead poisoning is a known cause of birth defects, learning disabilities, anemia and kidney disorders, Peterson said. It is preventable but not curable.
Peeling lead-filled paint is the most common source of poisoning, Peterson said, followed by lead pipes and older brass fixtures.
The testing will be offered at the First United Methodist Church, 421 Sespe Ave., at 7 p.m. for one hour only. No reservations are required.