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  1. #51
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    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decater Glazing

    Just a little digging on the net turned up these randomly quoted nuggets - nasty stuff for sure. The question is how much damage drinking a decanter or two of contaminated Bourbon will do. Apparently there isn't a clear cut answer.


    Behavioral Symptoms of Lead Poisoning In Adults
    - Irritability
    - Unexplained changes in mood or personality
    - Changes in sleep patterns
    - Inability to concentrate
    - Memory loss

    Symptoms
    Initially, lead poisoning can be hard to detect — even people who seem healthy can have high blood levels of lead. Signs and symptoms usually don't appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated.

    Signs and symptoms in adults may include:
    High blood pressure
    Declines in mental functioning
    Pain, numbness or tingling of the extremities
    Muscular weakness
    Headache
    Abdominal pain
    Memory loss
    Mood disorders
    Reduced sperm count, abnormal sperm
    Miscarriage or premature birth in pregnant women

    Other sources of lead exposure
    Lead can also sometimes be found in:

    Soil. Lead particles that settle on the soil from leaded gasoline or paint can last for years. Lead-contaminated soil is still a major problem around highways and in some urban settings.
    Household dust. Household dust can contain lead from lead paint chips or from contaminated soil brought in from outside.
    Pottery. Glazes found on some ceramics, china and porcelain can contain lead that may leach into food.
    Toys. Lead is sometimes found in toys and other products produced abroad.
    Traditional cosmetics. Kohl is a traditional cosmetic, often used as eyeliner. Testing of various samples of kohl has revealed high levels of lead.

    Exposure to even low levels of lead can cause damage over time, especially in children. The greatest risk is to brain development, where irreversible damage may occur. Higher levels can damage the kidneys and nervous system in both children and adults. Very high lead levels may cause seizures, unconsciousness and possibly death.

    Don't store wine, spirits, or vinegar-based salad dressings in lead crystal decanters for long periods of time, because lead can get into the liquid.

  2. #52
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    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decater Glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by sailor22 View Post
    Just a little digging on the net turned up these randomly quoted nuggets - nasty stuff for sure. The question is how much damage drinking a decanter or two of contaminated Bourbon will do. Apparently there isn't a clear cut answer.


    Behavioral Symptoms of Lead Poisoning In Adults
    - Irritability
    - Unexplained changes in mood or personality
    - Changes in sleep patterns
    - Inability to concentrate
    - Memory loss
    So... crotchety people might be that way because of lead poisoning? Hmmm.
    Mark Edwards - Proof of Sanity Forged Upon Request

  3. #53
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    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decater Glazing

    ********UPDATE FROM WRIPVANWRIKLE*********

    ****************************************



    Hi All,

    A lot of good questions have been asked. I have been itching to respond. Unfortunately, I changed my SB.com email address a couple of weeks ago. Although my account has been re-activated, it appears that I don’t privileges to access/post within most of the forums… If possible, would a Mod please help? Many thanks to BradleyC for posting this comment for me.

    So, what is the impact from drinking lead contaminated whiskey? As the posts above indicate, lead stays within the body for an extended period of time. Half of the lead found in the blood supply will leave the body within 25 days [1]. In another 25 days another half will leave. In this manner, the lead will accumulate. If at any given time there is “too much” lead within the blood, then there are harmful effects.

    The question then is “How much is too much?” I’ll warn you now that this is about to get a little geeky.

    Apparently, “too much” is 10 micrograms of lead within 1 deciliter of blood (10 ug/dL). [2/3]

    Knowing this, we need to figure out how much lead is in any given dram. To figure that out we need to understand how much lead is resident within a 14,700 ppb solution of alcohol.

    Apparently, ppb can be estimated in terms of weight. 1 ppb of contaminate within water is approximately equal to 1 mg/L. I’m going to assume that this conversion for water approximates the conversion for alcohol [5]. Therefore, the conversion for my 14,700 ppb solution of Lead (Pb) to milligrams per liter (mg/L) would look like:

    14,700 gm Pb / 10^9 gm H20 * 1000 gm H20 / 1 L H20 = 14.7 mg/L

    Fortunately, I don’t drink a liter of Bourbon in one sitting. My drams tend to be 50 milliliters (mL) “tall”. Additionally all that lead is diluted throughout my blood supply (a grown adult has 5-6 liters of blood [6].) So, how does a single dram impact my blood supply? The calculation follows:

    14.6 mg / L bourbon * 50 mL bourbon / dram * 1 dram / 60 dL blood = 12.2 ug/dL

    Uh-oh. The EPA says that 10.0 ug/dL is harmful, while a single dram has raised me to 12.2 ug/dL. Want a second dram?

    Fortunately, not all is lost. Sutton points out above that only 10-15% of dietary lead is absorbed in a non-pregnant adult. [7] (If you are drinking lead contaminated whiskey while pregnant, then shame on you.) Taking the 15% absorption rate into account, then each dram adds another 1.83 ug/dL to my blood supply.

    Don’t be too relieved though. Remember that lead will stay in the body for 25 days (even then, only half of it will exit). At 1.83 ug/dL per drink, the lead within my blood will reach “harmful” levels in 6 drinks. If I kill a 750 mL decanter over 15 days (1 dram a day) than my lead level would be 27.45 ug/dL. Not a happy thought (almost 3X past the “harmful” level.)

    Obviously there are a lot more factors to be considered in order to accurately predict the effects of drinking from a lead-glazed decanter. Also the correlation between lead blood levels and harmful effects should be evaluated. Personally though I am convinced: drinking alcohol that has been sitting for 40 years within a lead glazed decanter is a really bad idea.

    Wripvanwrinkle (Eric)

    REFERENCES
    [1]: http://manbir-online.com/diseases/lead.htm
    [2]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_lead_level
    [3]: http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm
    [4]: http://www.smarte.org/smarte/dynamic...easure.xml.pdf]
    [6]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood
    [7]: http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=elwdterm...hhaz&csid=Elwd
    NOTES
    [5]: Apparently, since alcohol is less dense than water that the conversion should be about 10% less. I’m going to ignore this difference here.

  4. #54
    Disciple
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    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decater Glazing

    The other key conclusion would be that if you haven't seen any effects of lead at this point, and you aren't consuming any more through whiskey, toys, cosmetics, dust, etc., you aren't likely to develop any.

  5. #55
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    Cincinnati, OH
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    Unhappy Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decater Glazing

    Well damn. I'd never thought about this before (and somehow missed this thread). I have 6 Beam decanters from the late 1970s that all likely have lead glazing. I spent probably 40ish for the lot of them. 3 are Beam BiB with whiskey distilled in 1959, bottled in 1975 (16 year old BiB whiskey). I really like them and would hate to just get rid of them.

    I'm a physician scientist student so I've got some information from science and medicine. There's a lead exposure study that's been going on in Cincinnati for several decades assessing neural development in children exposed to lead in deteriorating homes in the area. All conclusions have shown that lab is dangerous at every exposure level (including the currently recommended "safe dose". That said most of the effect seems to be on developing nervous system tissue. Accumulation in bones and other areas of mineral deposit (teeth) leads to lifelong lead exposure in much of this patient population. While what I've read suggests that lead exposure is not as detrimental to adults, it's clear that lead is harmful to everyone.

    One of the girls in lab is working on a heavy metal project right now in collaboration with the chemistry department. I'm going to check with my PI to see if it would be possible to test the lead content of the whiskey in my decanters. (My personal take on this: I won't be tasting or sharing any decanter whiskey until I have the results. Sorry to those that may have sampled the whiskey at my tasting in January.)

  6. #56
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    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decater Glazing

    I read through this thread when it first was generated, and appreciated it then.

    Now I am re-reading it as a friend of mine came across some decanters at a consignment shop. Four out of the five are glass, and so I am wondering: is there any way to know if there's the same hazard with glass decanters from the sixties the way there is with ceramic?

    The fifth decanter is an Old Fitz Monticello decanter (presumably ceramic?), and can be found on the bottom right of this page:

    http://www.jimbeamclub.com/pictorial...ald/index.html

    Is there any way to discern the composition of this one?

  7. #57
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    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decater Glazing

    I believe the Old Fitz Monicello is glass.
    "Brownest of the brown liquors..so tempting. What's that? You want me to drink you? But I'm in the middle of a trial!" L. Hutz

  8. #58
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    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decater Glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by sailor22 View Post
    Don't store wine, spirits, or vinegar-based salad dressings in lead crystal decanters for long periods of time, because lead can get into the liquid.
    I just started reading through this thread and it is one of the most interesting and informative I have ever witnessed. However, I saw this post about Lead Crystal Decanters. I received a crystal decanter for Christmas. I was unaware that there is lead in crystal.

    Sadly, I am about to display my newbie badge and possibly my uninformed, and uneducated badge when I say this...but...is there a danger of lead in pure crystal containers?

    My belief was that the danger would be in any (lead) paint used to decorate the bottle.

  9. #59
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    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decater Glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Bmac View Post
    I just started reading through this thread and it is one of the most interesting and informative I have ever witnessed. However, I saw this post about Lead Crystal Decanters. I received a crystal decanter for Christmas. I was unaware that there is lead in crystal.

    Sadly, I am about to display my newbie badge and possibly my uninformed, and uneducated badge when I say this...but...is there a danger of lead in pure crystal containers?

    My belief was that the danger would be in any (lead) paint used to decorate the bottle.
    There are Lead crystal decanters and Crystal decanters. The lead crystal decanters will leak lead into the alcohol if booze is stored in them long term . The Crystal ones will not.
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.

  10. #60
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    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decater Glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by p_elliott View Post
    There are Lead crystal decanters and Crystal decanters. The lead crystal decanters will leak lead into the alcohol if booze is stored in them long term . The Crystal ones will not.
    Goodness. Do they still make lead crystal decanters? I almost wonder why they would bother.

 

 

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