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  QUESTION: Risk of lead poisoning from Russian lead crystal glasses. 02 Feb 2004, New Jersey USA

If I use Russian Lead Crystal glasses to drink soft drinks or wine, am I in danger of Lead Poisoning?

ANSWER: 23 Jul 2004

Dear Madam,

There has been one case where a man was lead poisoned by regularly drinking carbonated drinks from a lead pewter mug but it was unusual in that he left the drink in the mug overnight to take sips during the night so the lead had more time to leach from the pewter. Lead crystal is regarded as similar to pewter in that the amount of time that the drink is in the glass/mug plus whether the drink is carbonated and the amount of alcohol or the acidity of the drink all increase the likelihood of lead in the drink being excessive. For this reason it is recommended that you not store carbonated, acidic or alcoholic drinks in lead crystal (or lead pewter or lead ceramic ware for that matter) but that using the glass during one meal or sitting is acceptable. If you are in any doubt and think that you may have been exposed to lead (from this or any other source) then it would be wise to have a blood lead test which will confirm the exposure one way or the other. Ask your doctor for a blood lead test and you will have your answer.

Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

See: Health Canada Lead crystalware and Your Health

Food And Drug Administration Compliance Program Guidance Manual - Chapter 04 Pesticide And Chemical Contaminants

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