Glazed and non-glazed earthenware is traditionally and widely used in Turkey and most of the Mediterranean and the Middle East countries for cooking and conservation of foodstuff. Acid-leaching tests have been carried Out to determine whether the use of glazed and non-glazed earthenware may constitute a human health hazard risk to the consumers. Earthenware was leached with 4% acetic acid and 1% citric acid solutions, and arsenic in the leachates was measured using hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry. Arsenic concentrations in the leach solution of non-glazed potteries varied from 30.9 to 800 mu g L(-1) while the glazed potteries varied generally from below the limit of detection (0.5 mu g L(-1)) to 30.6 mu g L(-1), but in one poorly glazed series it reached to 110 mu g L(-1). Therefore, the risk of arsenic poisoning by poorly glazed and non-glazed potteries is high enough to be of concern. It appears that this is the first study reporting arsenic release from earthenware into food. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.