“Barro Aprobado” Project Launches in Mexico

Campaign To Change 500 Year-Old Toxic Tradition Affecting Over 70% of Population of Mexico

Barro website grab

* Go to the Spanish Language website: http://barroaprobado.org/

* More information:

For more information: contact Daniel Estrada at daniel@blacksmithinstitute.org


The cause? A 500 year-old toxic tradition of leaded pottery.

Almost every home and restaurant in the country uses traditional Mexican pottery produced by local artisans over the past five centuries using leaded glazes.

Pure Earth/Blacksmith Institute is currently in Mexico to launch the start of a major campiagn to change this 500 year-old toxic tradition and solve this national problem.

The “Barro Aprobado” project will raise public awareness about the dangers of leaded pottery and promote the use and production of lead-free pottery.  The project begins in Morelos state with plans to expand on its success nationwide.

Watch Homero Aridjis’ heartfelt address about “Barro Aprobado” and the urgency of the issue (in Spanish with bilingual transcript)

Listen: Audio from “Barro Aprobado” press conference from Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, Thursday, June 26, 12 noon.

 Introducing…. First Lead-Free “Barro Aprobado” Restaurant

Casa de Campo is the first restaurant to go lead-free under “Barro Aprobado.” The food prepared in this historic 260 year-old building that houses the restaurant will be lead-free, possibly for the first time in over two centuries.

Project Launch Press Release (via by Google Translate). Read original Spanish version here.

Today more than 10 public and private institutions had Approved Barro, a project that began in Morelos and encourages the use of lead-free pottery to eliminate the main source of lead exposure among Mexican glazed pottery with greta (oxide lead); House naming as the first restaurant of the program.

Approved Barro includes: 1) training to potters Tlayacapan, 2) pottery shops with a method to test if the parts containing lead or not, 3) restaurants / hotels free of lead, 4) determining levels blood lead pottery Tlayacapan population and a representative sample of newborns in Morelos and 5) children remediation pottery workshops as required.

To give certainty to buyers who use pottery lead free parts, Barro Approved for free to endow 100 stores selling pottery in Morelos with the “Lead Test Kit”. This kit has sodium rhodizonate to verify if the glaze contains lead or not. This same test is to be applied to the glazed pottery of the restaurants, hotels and food outlets wanting to join the program voluntarily.

Lead is a toxic heavy metal to humans. Low doses can affect health in many ways, one of the most notorious is the neurological damage that can affect the proper development of intellectual abilities. For a long time the main route of lead exposure in Mexico was through gasoline. From the total elimination of lead in fuel in 1997, glazed pottery containing lead paint became the main source of exposure to this toxic in non-occupationally exposed population.

During the presentation, representatives of institutions and organizations that are part of Barro Approved: Health Secretary Morelos (SSM), Morelos Health Services Commission for Protection Against Health Risks of the State of Morelos (COPRISEM), National Institute of Public Health (INSP), Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery (INNN), Grupo de los Cien, Zícaro Foundation, Inter-University Partnership Environment Group, Procentro Cuernavaca, National Chamber of the Restaurant Industry Spicy Food and Morelos (Morelos CANIRAC), Treasures of Mexico, Morelos Hotels Association, Association of Clubs and Entertainment Centers (Adice) of Morelos, ICOMM, * ion and Blacksmith Institute, an organization that promotes the initiative.


Why the name Barro Approved?

The name of the program uses the most popular word for pottery (or china) glazed low temperature: Barro and adjective referring to the test done to show that is free from lead: Approved. Referring to that is glazed pottery that has been approved by lead free.

How collaborating institutions involved so far?

Allied Public Institutions

Health Services Morelos (SSM.gob.mx) and Commission for Protection Against Health Risks of the State of Morelos (COPRISEM): Health Promotion with recommendations for preventing health risks to popular restaurants.

Health Secretary Morelos (SSM.gob.mx) and Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS.gob.mx): Participation in the program to determine blood lead levels at Morelos.

National Institute of Public Health (INSP.mx): Coordination, design and implementation of determining blood lead levels.

National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery (INNN.salud.gob.mx): Support for conducting laboratory studies to determine blood lead levels.

Civil Society Organizations

Blacksmith Institute (BlacksmithInstitute.org) Impeller Barro Approved funding for implementation.

Hundred Group: Promotion and dissemination of the strategy.

Zícaro Foundation (Zicaro.org): Training and counseling on issues Tlayacapan potters professionalization (use of information technology, marketing, legal, etc.)

Interuniversity Association Environmental Group (Gaia.org.mx): Sale of lead test kits and support dissemination.

Procentro Cuernavaca (ProCentroCuernavaca.com) CANIRAC Morelos (CANIRAC.org.mx), Treasures of Morelos (TesorosDeMorelos.com.mx), Hotel Association of the State of Morelos (ViveMorelos.com.mx), Association of Clubs and Centres Shows (adice) Morelos: Promotion for restaurants, hotels and bars are part of partners and promote Barro Approved.


ICOMM (iComm.com.mx): Public Relations

* Ion (ioncom.com.mx): Marketing and Branding

What are the forms of participation?

Civil Society: Buy lead free pottery businesses offering lead test and ask restaurants to use Barro Approved.

Restaurants / Hotels / Bars: Join the program to use only lead-free pottery and disseminate this fact through distinctive Mud Approved.

Pottery shops and stalls: Provide lead test and disclose to customers that have lead-free pottery.

What is Lead Kit?

It is a box containing the materials to make the Test Lead. The rhodizonate sodium mixed with vinegar. This solution is applied to the workpiece, if the liquid changes color, the piece has lead, otherwise you have no lead.

Why Barro Approved starts in Morelos?

Morelos is a producer state of glazed pottery and is where the headquarters of INSP. We chose to start in Morelos to promote the production of lead-free glazed pottery Tlayacapan which can easily quantify the results, in addition to satisfying the interests of INSP to positively influence the state where he lives.

Does this program has public resources?

Approved Barro is an initiative of civil society at this stage only has private financing. Public institutions participants bring human resources, non-monetary.

What will follow the Barro Approved program?

Barro approved seeks to measure and influence the following indicators: Number of free potters lead-free dining number of lead, blood lead levels in the potters and lead levels in society in general. Blacksmith Institute will follow the first two indicators. While the INSP, with support from the Ministry of Health of Morelos, IMSS and Blacksmith Institute conducted a study to determine the blood lead levels in newborns of Morelos. Lead levels in blood in the pottery community borne by the INSP, the Ministry of Health of Morelos and Blacksmith Institute.

Information collected will be used to generate reports that will be distributed to the general public and concerned authorities to replicate the positive experience of the program in other states.