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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    Oct 2007
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    Flamborough, Ontario
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    Lead crystal glassware

    After doing some research, it seems to me that drinking from crystal glassware is not such a good idea, yet it also seems that most fine glasses for spirits and wines are made of crystal these days. Just wondering what the forum opinion is on this topic; do you use crystal glassware regularly?

  2. #2
    Advanced Taster
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    Dec 2006
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    224

    Re: Lead crystal glassware

    There's no problem with drinking out of it. There is concern about storing liquid in lead crystal glasses for long period of times.

  3. #3
    Disciple
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    Austin, Texas
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    Re: Lead crystal glassware

    Quote Originally Posted by Megawatt View Post
    After doing some research, it seems to me that drinking from crystal glassware is not such a good idea, yet it also seems that most fine glasses for spirits and wines are made of crystal these days. Just wondering what the forum opinion is on this topic; do you use crystal glassware regularly?

    Was there a % that is indicated as a threshold that should be avoided? Or- is it any amount of lead within the glass?
    ______________________________

    Jeff Mo.

  4. #4
    Guru
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    Dec 2004
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    Northern Kentucky
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    Re: Lead crystal glassware

    There are also crystal glasses and barware made without lead.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  5. #5
    Irreverent One
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    Feb 2008
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    Heart of the Beaver State
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    Re: Lead crystal glassware

    Quote Originally Posted by jburlowski View Post
    There are also crystal glasses and barware made without lead.
    Made with titanium, I believe. Makes the glass a lot harder. They're billed as "break resistant".
    Scott

    "Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your level of intolerance."
    - Serge Storms

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
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    on the outskirts of life
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    Re: Lead crystal glassware

    It used to be my understanding that the liquor had to sit in the decanter for a very long time (20 - 30 years) before it would cause enough lead to be released to be harmful but every time this topic comes up I do another search and find something different. A lot of what I read today seems to imply that the time it takes to cause enough lead to be released is much shorter. You can find some decent (by that I mean presumably reliable) info here. According to that site there significantly less than 0.2ppm of lead absorbed in a drink in one of those glasses whether it be an alcoholic drink or a non-alcoholic one, the legal maximum for lead content in in food and beverages in Canada is 0.2ppm. Among the things they suggest if you are going to use lead crystal glasses and/or decanters is to let it soak in vinegar overnight, wash them by hand (this suggestion and the former will reduce the amount of surface lead in the glass), and to maintain a healthy diet (so that your body doesn't absorb as much lead). I don't let any of this ruin using my favorite, lead crystal, snifter though.
    /\../\

    "I've had eighteen straight whiskies, I think that's the record . . ." - Dylan Thomas

  7. #7
    Advanced Taster
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    Mar 2008
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    Vista, CA
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    Re: Lead crystal glassware

    Why do they add lead anyway?
    As he removed the cork from the bottle of bourbon, he threw it across the room and said, "we ain't gonna need that no more".

  8. #8
    Irreverent One
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    Re: Lead crystal glassware

    Quote Originally Posted by SippinJim View Post
    Why do they add lead anyway?
    Makes it harder, which allows it to be thinner, and also able to cut designs into it (the good crystal, from outfits like Waterford, have their intricate designs cut, not molded, into the glasses and decanters).
    Scott

    "Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your level of intolerance."
    - Serge Storms

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
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    9,122

    Re: Lead crystal glassware

    We have a lead glassware decanter. A few years ago I put one of my typical U.S./Canadian whiskey blends in it.

    I tasted it a few weeks ago. It has a strange, metallic taste, and I won't touch it further.

    My blends may be (some of them) bad, but not that bad...

    Gary

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
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    Dec 2005
    Location
    NYC
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    580

    Re: Lead crystal glassware

    If you are allowing your alcoholic beverage to sit undrunk in a crystal glass long enough for harmful amounts of lead to leach out, you ain't doing it the right way.

    -Mike
    "This is the real article. It is double-rectified busthead from Madison County, aged in the keg. A little spoonful would do you a power of good."

    -True Grit by Charles Portis

 

 

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