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Sep 3, 2006 04:19 AM

lead crystal / stemware are not safe!

if lead is toxic and why is it ok to have lead in our stemware and other glass vessels? you pay more for this lead content and is the clarity and sparkle really worth it?

it is known that lead crystal leaches or dissolves when in contact with acidic beverages such as wine or fruit juices.

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  1. General consensus in the scientific community is:
    OK for stems and immediate use, bad for storage. From the link below:

    Varshneya, A K; Frederes, K P
    Glass Industry. Vol. 74, no. 5, pp. 22-23. 1993

    The rate of leaching of lead from production processed glassware containing about 24% PbO was investigated. The glassware was exposed to acidic wines, orange juice and distilled water, at room temperature and at 60 C, at periods of up to 41 days. Leaching was low initially, for up to 2 days, followed by a rapid increase in Pb levels in the contact liquid, and finally by slower increases in Pb levels, from the 24th day onwards. Levels as high as 8.5 ppm of Pb were recorded. Wine leached more Pb than orange juice, and distilled water showed no detectable Pb levels after 41 days. Fine polishing increased the rate of leaching, whereas acid polishing resulted in a decrease. 1 ref.