I first heard about this last year in the middle of the slow cooker challenge. It seems to be a bit of an internet rumor, thankfully. I contacted Jarden (parent company of Crock-Pot) and heard that they routinely check for lead levels and that their reports haven't found anything.
this is the exact wording I got back:Jarden Consumer Solutions (JCS) continues to proactively test its products for lead and other toxic metals, with the results continuing to come back favorably. Lead is not an additive in the Crock Pot® slow cooker ceramic glaze. JCS is diligent in its efforts to ensure that its products are compliant with applicable regulations regarding the presence of lead.
JCS tests for lead and other toxic metals on its products to ensure they are safe for consumers. In addition, we periodically use accredited third party lab testing to reveal that our slow cooker stoneware is far below the U.S. FDA and California Regulation Prop 65 requirements for extractable lead and cadmium in ceramic wares, thus supporting our results.
also, a bit ago a blogger decided to check this out for herself, and these are her results: http://www.terminalverbosity.com/2009/1 ... prise-you/
she tested independently several different manufacturers and found NOTHING! yay!!!!
so crock on!