Decorated drinking glasses found to contain hazardous amount of toxins, says study

Before you get out those beautifully decorated drinking glasses for the holidays, you might want to reconsider getting new dishware.

A new study has found that decorated drinking glasses -- including wine and beer cups, as well as jars -- may contain a toxic amount of lead and cadmium.

The researchers, from Britain's University of Plymouth, examined 72 new and used decorated glasses and found that 70% tested positive for both of the toxic metals.  

The lead, found in 139 cases, was detected in golf-leaf designs as well as paints of all colors.  Cadmium was found in 134, with the highest amount detected in red enamel. Furthermore, testing proved that even the rims of the glasses came back with lead levels of 1,000 higher than the acceptable limit. 

Related: Chemicals in your cleaning supplies

9 PHOTOS
Toxic chemicals found in everyday cleaning products
See Gallery
Toxic chemicals found in everyday cleaning products
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Researchers are both "surprised" and concerned with these findings, as the toxins may prove hazardous for consumers as well as the environment. 

Lead researcher Dr. Andrew Turner explained to HealthDay News:

"The presence of hazardous elements in both the paint and glaze of decorated glassware has obvious implications for both human health and the environment. So it was a real surprise to find such high levels of lead and cadmium, both on the outside of the glassware and around the rim."

Because the researchers observed the flaking of paint throughout use, they are concerned toxins have been ingested "over long periods of time." 

"There are genuine health risks posed through ingesting such levels of the substances over a prolonged period, so this is clearly an issue that the international glassware industry needs to take action on as a matter of urgency," Turner said.

Cadmium can cause cancer and severe kidney issues, while lead can cause severe growth and developmental problems.

It should be noted that traces of such toxins extend far beyond Britain. "I would imagine the U.S. would have a similar problem, especially when many products are imported from Asia," explained Turner. Most recently, in 2016, McDonald’s recalled 12 million limited edition Shrek glasses for containing cadmium.

He maintained, "Consumers should be made aware of this, while retailers and the glass industry have the responsibility to eliminate toxic metals from decorated products." 

The study was published in the online journal of Science of the Total Environment.

Related: Toxic ingredients in your tampons

7 PHOTOS
6 toxic ingredients in your tampons to watch out for
See Gallery
6 toxic ingredients in your tampons to watch out for

1. Rayon

“Highly absorbent viscose rayon is one of four synthetic ingredients that is commonly associated with the increase of likelihood of TSS,” says Frenkel. “While the other three synthetic ingredients (polyester, carboxymethylcellulose, and polyacrylate rayon) have been taken off the market, rayon still exists in many tampons today.”

2. Dioxin

This chemical is a result of chlorine processing. “According to the EPA, there is no safe level of exposure to dioxin,” says Frenkel. It’s also linked to hormone disruption and can affect your immune system.

3. Non-organic cotton

“The purpose of genetically engineered cotton is so that it will be resistant to pesticides and herbicides, which would affect the cotton’s growth,” says Frenkel. “This is problematic because it allows substantially more pesticides and herbicides to be sprayed on the cotton, which increases the risk of its residues being present in the cotton that’s in our tampons.” Hence why she stresses the importance of using organic cotton, since non-organic cotton tampons are likely to be genetically modified.

4. Fragrance

“Fragrance is essentially chemical soup,” says Frenkel. As with beauty products, brands don’t have to list what chemicals they’re putting under the umbrella term “fragrance,” so it can contain harmful ingredients.

5. Chlorine

“Chlorine is used in the bleaching processes and does produce trace amounts of dioxins in the process,” notes Frenkel. “While the FDA maintains that there are only trace amounts of dioxins, when you look at this from a cumulative angle, there is cause for concern.”

6. BPA

BPA is a hormone-disrupting chemical that comes from producing plastic, and it has been linked to cancer. Look for BPA-free applicators when shopping for tampons, says Frenkel.

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

Sign up for the Best Bites by AOL newsletter to get the most delicious recipes and hottest food trends delivered straight to your inbox every day.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.