Decorative Glassware May Contain Toxic Metals

November 8, 2017

© Aziz Rimi | Dreamstime

Decorative drinking glasses are not only fun but they can add some pizazz to any occasion.  But you may want to stay away from using them as a new study found potentially harmful levels of lead and cadmium in the paint used in many decorated glasses.  Researchers analyzed 72 new and second-hand decorated drinking glasses, including tumblers, beer and wine glasses, and jars. They found nearly 70% tested positive for lead or cadmium, both toxic metals. Lead was found in all colors and gold-leaf designs, while the highest concentrations of cadmium were in red enamel, and in many cases the metals leach off into the liquid and flakes of the paint can be ingested. Cadmium can cause cancer, and studies have also linked it to bone softening and severe kidney problems. Lead in children's bodies can lead to growth and developmental problems. Some tests carried out by the researchers revealed lead levels 1,000 times higher than the acceptable limit.  It may be best to stay clear of decorated glassware or at the very least make sure the paint used does not contain toxic materials.


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