Who Knew? My Crystal Glasses Are Now Considered Toxic!

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Always had crystal glasses around since I was a kid. These were used for special occasions only, so my memories of them are pretty special. Stumbled upon a couple of articles that talked vaguely about toxicity from the lead in the lead crystal. Now, I can see storing alcohol in a decanter for a long period time could be an issue, but I find it hard to believe that having the occasional glass of wine or a highball out of a lovely crystal glass is really that toxic. Am I wrong?
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Are there hard numbers on the amount of lead that dissolves into solution over time? I'm a cynic.
That's the interesting thing. There is lots of hand wringing in many forum posts, but nothing concrete. I find it interesting that they are so toxic, and yet an established company like Mikasa, for instance, still makes lovely 24% lead crystal glasses. You'd think their would be an army of lawyers after them if they were selling a product that was so toxic.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Ok I “did my research” and will continue drinking out of my crystal wine glasses but maybe pass on those crystal whisky decanters I was eyeing at the antique store.

what about those dudes that make music with the wooo wooooo woo of their fingers on crystal glasses filled in various harmonic amounts?
 

JoeThePop

Known member
Always had crystal glasses around since I was a kid. These were used for special occasions only, so my memories of them are pretty special. Stumbled upon a couple of articles that talked vaguely about toxicity from the lead in the lead crystal. Now, I can see storing alcohol in a decanter for a long period time could be an issue, but I find it hard to believe that having the occasional glass of wine or a highball out of a lovely crystal glass is really that toxic. Am I wrong?

You have any old pewter mugs you like to drink tomato juice from?
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
The wine glass thing, I'm not worried about but I do get the worry with decanters and now I feel I should tell my friend that I gave a nice crystal decanter to that maybe he shouldn't store his fancy Scotch in it.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I just wish we were treated like grownups and told what the level of risk is, so we could make an intelligent, or not so intelligent, decision for ourselves. I'm not much of a drinker, let alone a wine drinker, so if I have a glass of wine every month, out of a lovely crystal glass, what is the real effect on me?
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
A good read from the Canadian government.

 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I just wish we were treated like grownups and told what the level of risk is, so we could make an intelligent, or not so intelligent, decision for ourselves. I'm not much of a drinker, let alone a wine drinker, so if I have a glass of wine every month, out of a lovely crystal glass, what is the real effect on me?
The few articles I read said that the risk level in a glass of wine was below that of environmental exposure in the average meal but that long-term storage over days/months could lead to some noticeable levels of lead content in the liquid.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
A typically terrible "article":

 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
And a much better article:



"When lead crystal beverage containers are used in an ordinary way, they do not pose a health risk! Lead leaching is an occurrence in leaded glass, but the quantity that leaches into a glass of wine or other beverage let stand for a few hours is much smaller than the quantity of lead consumed daily in the ordinary diet. Therefore, food or beverage consumed from crystal glassware are completely safe! You can safely use your crystal stemware and barware to serve wine, water and other beverage. No liquid stays in the glass long enough during any meal to leach lead that exceeds any EPA standards. To make sure crystal glassware is safe to store liquids – no matter is manufacturer has done this already or not – perform this simple task: Fill the interior of your crystal glassware, decanters, and pitchers with white vinegar and let sit for 24 hours. Rinse well before use. The majority of lead oxide molecules will leach into an acidic solution, leaving the top layers of crystal virtually lead-free."

test-title
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I think with things like this its best to be aware and careful but also remember that 90% of the internet survives on scaring the bejesus out of people. Just use common sense. My common sense says don't store liquids i'm going to drink for years in leaded crystal, but that a glass of wine in a vintage crystal glass for the few minutes I allow wine to sit in a glass before its in my belly is ok.

There's a line in a song by The Eels. "...a careful man tries to dodge the bullets, while a happy man takes a walk."
 

GuyK

Junior Member
Sadly, I get paywalled right away on that. But thanks for posting.
Sadly, I'm getting paywalled now as well. I was going to try and quote the article for you. Maybe tomorrow. I read it the first time, and it did cite actual studies, with some actual numbers.
 
Top