Could THIS item in every household kitchen be endangering YOUR health?

Toxic lead and cadmium was found on the surface of more than 70 per cent of drinking glasses, a study claimed.

The chemicals were more than 1000 times the higher than recommended limit on some of the glasses, according to the University of Plymouth study.

High levels of lead and cadmium were found both on the rim of the glasses, and around the surface. That included wine glasses, pint glasses, tumblers and jars.

Reducing the amount of chemicals on glasses was an urgent requirement, said researcher Dr Andrew Turner.

“The presence of hazardous elements in both the paint and glaze of decorated glassware has obvious implications for both human health and the environment,” said Turner.

“It was a real surprise to find such high levels of lead and cadmium, both on the outside of the glassware and around the rim.

“There are genuine health risks posed through ingesting such levels of the substances over a prolonged period, so this is clearly an issue that the international glassware industry needs to take action on as a matter of urgency.”

The study tested chemical levels on 72 new and second-hand drinking glass products.

More than 50 of the glasses tested positive for lead, and it was found in all colours of glass - even the decorative gold leaf on some products.

Similarly, 51 glasses had cadmium on them. It was found most on red enamel.

The US Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment recommends no more than about 200ppm of lead on the lip of drinking glasses, and 800ppm of cadmium.

But, the scientists revealed some glasses had up to 400,000ppm of lead on them, and 70,000ppm of cadmium.

“Given that safer alternatives are available to the industry, the overall results of this study are both surprising and concerning,” said Turner.

“Why are harmful or restricted elements still being employed so commonly to decorate contemporary glassware manufactured in China, the European Union and elsewhere?

“I believe consumers should be made aware of this, while retailers and the glass industry have the responsibility to eliminate toxic metals from decorated products.”

Lead poisoning affects the brain and nervous system, according to the World Health Organization.

It can lead to anaemia, hypertension, renal impairment, toxicity to reproductive organs and even death.

Cadmium, meanwhile, has a toxic effect on kidneys and can cause cancer, the health watchdog added.



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