I read through this thread and it was pretty interesting to see that many people still dismiss lead exposure. Another thing that I noticed was someone saying there is a difference between leaded cyrstal glassware and "real" crystal galssware. I'm pretty sure all high quality crystal glassware is leaded as it's the addition of the lead that makes it "crystal" instead of regular glass. I don't know of any glassware that is made from crystals such as quartz. And lead glazes are still commonly found on ceramics that come from China and other underdeveloped countries.
Thanks for the info. I'm pretty sure the Waterford and Mikasa crystal dinner ware (wine glasses, tumblers, decanters, etc.) we have is leaded, but not positive. I know for a fact the decanters and a pitcher are as they are/were labeled with the lead content when new as a sign of quality. These were all purchased within the last 10 years or so. Some may be a little older. I personally don't use them very often, but we have in the past.
Last edited by smknjoe; 01-11-2013 at 15:37.
It's my understanding that lead crystal stemware is fine, because the liquid doesn't stay in the glass long enough for leeching to occur. Crystal decanters need to be used for decanting and not storage; unused liquor needs to be put back in the original container or another non-lead glass container.
Yeah, that's pretty much what I've heard to do as well. When I was a kid my Mom used to store scotch in leaded crystal decanters for long periods of time since she didn't drink (Dad drank bourbon.) When guests came over I guess they got a little dose. Probably not much worse than some of the tap water back then. Now that I think about it, my friends and I may have snuck a little sip a few times Thankfully, lead exposure from various sources is not as common as it used to be, but it's not something to completely ignore as some do. On the other hand ignorance really is bliss!
What is considered a safe period of time for whisk(e)y to be kept in a lead crystal decanter?
I'm not trying to downplay the hazards of lead poisoning,(there is no know safe exposure level for lead) but lead is everywhere, and we are almost constantly being exposed to it. A great deal of the water pipes in the streets of Chicago are still lead, for example, and the U.S. only banned lead solder in tin cans in 1995. Many canned goods sold in foreign countries still contain lead solder.
lead water pipes in Chicago have water constantly flowing and does not give it much chance to leach into the water supply. I would also assume that there is a lot of testing to assure the levels are safe. Whiskey that has remained stagnant in a lead based ceramic decanter has sat for 30 years. Enough members on here have done testings to identify high levels in the decanters for me to stay away from them. To each his own on taking the chance but I am staying away from them. I have had opportunities to buy many many full decanters in the area and have passed.
"Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."