Run by

The LEAD Group Inc
The Lead Education and Abatement Design Group
Working to eliminate lead poisoning globally and to protect the
environment from lead in all its uses: past, current and new uses
ABN 25 819 463 114
Australians! Take action
today. Is lead harming
you & your kids? Buy low
cost, NATA accredited
laboratory lead test kits
here. Sample your dust,
soil, water, paint, toys,
jewellery, ceramics
what's new 

Water Lead test Kits

Proceeds from our DIY Home Lead Assessment kit sales go towards the
Keeping Australian Lead Out of Leaded Petrol Initiative.

Search this site
 
Search tips 
What's New

About Us
bell system lead poisoning
Contact Us
Council Lead Project
egroups
Library-Fact Sheets
Home Page
Media Releases
Newsletters
Q&A
Referral Lists
Reports
Site Map
Slide Shows-Films
Subscribe-Donate
Useful Links

Visitor Number

 

QUESTION: Could a lead-sheathed aerator immersed in wine for 15 minutes deliver lead to the wine? 01 Nov 2007 USA

 I just have a question... My boyfriend makes wine, and during part of the cooling process, he needs to aerate it.  To do this, he uses an aquarium-like aerator with a strip of lead wrapped around it to help it sink.  This kind of troubled me, but he said that they use it in aquariums, and it doesn't hurt the fish.  Plus, it is only in contact with the wine (5 gallons) for about 15 minutes, so he wasn't worried about it.  Could this be a problem?

ANSWER: 01 Nov 2007

Dear Kristina,

The simple answer to your question is yes, a lead-sheathed aerator immersed in 5 gallons of wine for 15 minutes COULD add lead to the wine. Then the question arises: how much lead could be added to the wine? The answer to that depends on how oxidised the lead is before it goes in (does it have a whitish surface or is it grey and non-oxidised?), the alcohol content of the wine (the lower the alcohol content the less leaching will occur) and the temperature of the wine (the cooler the wine the less leaching will occur). In other words, if you test the wine, you can find out the answers to these further questions in order to answer the ultimate question as to whether the lead content of the wine is a problem.

Laboratory lead analysis of the wine is a good investment and the result can be compared to food and beverage standards.

However, even if the result does not exceed the standard, "no lead is good lead" so it would be smarter to use a non-leaded aerator.

Another way in which it may be possible to gauge the size of the problem is for the person who drinks the most wine to ask the doctor for a blood lead test. I'll send you an Info Pack explaining why it is unacceptably problematic if the blood lead result is above 2 micrograms per decilitre. The aim is to have a blood lead level of zero though in this world that has never happened, so the best you can do is to eliminate known and removable sources of lead.

It usually comes down to cost. What people forget to weigh up are the benefits of eliminating lead where possible eg better brain function and longer life. People often make their own wine for health reasons and so they can control the additives so it seems paradoxical to allow a known toxic heavy metal to get into the wine.

I trust that your boyfriend knows not to make his wine in leaded ceramic containers such as baths. He may be interested to read: ["Lead Poisoning from Homemade Wine: A Case Study" at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240286/pdf/ehp0109-000433.pdf Environmental Health Perspectives; VOLUME 109; NUMBER 4;  April 2001; 433435. Sam Mangas, Renuka Visvanathan, and Mike van Alphen] - despite the incredibly high blood lead level of 98 micrograms per decilitre, the wine-maker's doctors did not diagnose his lead poisoning for two years. This is because doctors typically don't test for lead (unless you request it) and the symptoms of lead poisoning are easily assigned to other possible causes. In other words, it is folly to say, "I don't need a blood lead test because I have no symptoms of lead poisoning."

All the best with measuring the extent of the problem. I'd be very interested to hear any results obtained.

Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

About Us | bell system lead poisoning | Contact Us | Council LEAD Project | egroups | Library - Fact Sheets | Home Page | Media Releases
Newsletters
| Q & A | Referral lists | Reports | Site Map | Slide Shows - Films | Subscription | Useful Links |  Search this Site
Privacy Policy | Disclaimer

Last Updated 02 December 2012
Copyright The LEAD Group Inc. 1991- 2012
PO Box 161 Summer Hill NSW 2130 Australia
Phone: +61 2 9716 0014