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Beware of “collectable” drinking glasses: Lead, cadmium risks

Last year, 12 million drinking glasses that were painted with pictures of characters from the movie Shrek were recalled because the paint contained cadmium. Cadmium is a metal used in paints that causes respiratory issues and is considered more toxic than lead.

A new study this month on behalf of the Associated Press has found that the tainted drinking glass issue could be much worse than previously thought and currently extends to a number of decorative glasses that are painted with popular movie and comic book characters like those from The Wizard of Oz as well as Superman. Testing found that the paint on a series of glasses that were made in China and purchased in the United States contained between 16% and 30% lead.

The “safe” limit for lead in children’s products is 0.03%, but the manufacturer said they were collectables for adults – not for drinking out of despite no warning on the glasses themselves.

Because the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission determines the glasses to be “children’s products”, further testing will be conducted. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola has voluntarily recalled 22,000 glasses painted to look like their iconic glass bottles because of “low quality” and not safety concerns, but also mentioned that testing had found cadmium in the paint. While the painted part of the glasses is on the outside, touching the paint and then touching your eyes, mouth or nose can lead to the ingestion of the cadmium or lead. Also, washing the glasses in the dishwasher can result in the paint contaminating other dishes.

Because these heavy metals build up in the human body, repeated exposure can cause serious illness or death. ~ Providing Lead Testing and Cadmium Testing Services in Toronto, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Southwest and Central Ontario. Contact us today in Toronto at (416) 575-6111; Mississauga (905) 905-824-5733; Southwest Ontario (London, Sarnia, Windsor) (519) 434-0796; Barrie (705) 719-0746 or Toll Free 1-866-310-4219.

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