India seeks feedback on revised porcelain standard including lead and cadmium migration limits

India seeks feedback on revised porcelain standard including lead and cadmium migration limits

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is seeking feedback on a draft revision of the standard that restricts the amount of lead and cadmium in porcelain crockery that comes into contact with food and drink till 10 November 2023. 


The standard for porcelain crockeryware (IS 3505) was first released in 1965 and has been amended several over the years. It was revised in 1979, 1994, and then a third time in 2002. In the third revision, the limits for lead and lead-dioxin release had been changed to be in line with the standards set by the International Organization for Standardization and Disarmament (ISO/DIS) for Ceramicware, Glass Ceramicware and Glass Dinnerware in Contact with Food-Release of Lead and Cadmium. Part 2 of the standard is called the ‘Permissible Limit’, which includes current regulations from major world bodies. It’s designed to make sure there are no non-tariff barriers, and to protect people from any potential risks arising from the use of incorrectly manufactured or handled crockeryware that comes into contact with food and drink. 

Fourth revision of the porcelain standard 

The draft of the fourth revision of the standard specifies the standards and techniques for sampling and testing porcelain crockery. The draft lists the test techniques from IS 14179:1999 used to guarantee that products are resistant to detergents, citric acid, and hairline cracking of the surface glaze. As porcelain has a low thermal conductivity, the test methods used to assess possible migration of harmful elements differ from those used for ceramic items. 

The test method for lead and cadmium is specified in IS 9806:2001 and the release of these elements must not exceed the limit values given in the table below. 

Type of Ware Unit Lead Limit Cadmium Limit 
Flatware mg/dm 0.8  0.07 
Large hollowware mg/l  1.0  0.25 
Small hollowware mg/l  2.0  0.50 
Cups and Mugs mg/l  0.5  0.25 
Cups and Mugs mg/l  0.5  0.25 
Cookingware mg/l  0.25 0.50 

The draft of the fourth revision also lays out provisions for marking and packing. It mandates that each article of porcelain crockeryware must be indelibly and legibly marked on its underside with the manufacturer’s name.  

In addition, each package of products must be marked with the following details: 

  • Indication of the source of manufacturer 
  • Description of the items 
  • Quantity 
  • Batch and lot number 
  • Grade and type 
  • Decoration quality number if any 
  • Month and year of manufacture 

Further consultations 

The BIS also is consulting on revised standards for earthenware crockeryware (deadline 3 November 2023), fine (bone) china crockeryware (deadline 10 November 2023), and stoneware crockeryware (deadline 20 November 2023). 


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