Fiestaware cups and saucers
Photo: Bob Bird/Getty Images
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The China Syndrome

That cool retro china you picked up at your neighbor's garage sale might have some not-so-savory attributes. Up until about the 1960s, the radioactive elements uranium, thorium, and potassium-40 were used in glazes for tile, pottery, and other widely available ceramics. Perhaps the best-known variety is Fiestaware from the Homer Laughlin China Company, which once used uranium oxides to create its bright red-orange dinnerware.
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