According to a new study commissioned by the Associated Press, you might be getting slightly more than your recommended daily allowance of lead if you’ve been using some decorative drinking glasses. And by “slightly more,” we mean “up to 1,000 times more” lead.
Sparked by last summer’s massive recall of Shrek-themed glasses from McDonald’s over cadmium contamination, the AP had a lab test dozens of decorative glasses featuring superheros, like Wonder Woman and Superman and movie characters like the cast of Wizard of Oz.
From the AP report:
The decorative enamel on the superhero and Oz sets — made in China and purchased at a Warner Brothers Studios store in Burbank — contained between 16 percent and 30.2 percent lead. The federal limit on children’s products is 0.03 percent.
The same glasses also contained relatively high levels of the even-more-dangerous cadmium, though there are no federal limits on that toxic metal in design surfaces.
AP’s testing, conducted by ToyTestingLab of Rhode Island, found that the enamel used to color the Tin Man had the highest lead levels, at 1,006 times the federal limit for children’s products. Every Oz and superhero glass tested exceeded the government limit: The Lion by 827 times and Dorothy by 770 times; Wonder Woman by 533 times, Superman by 617 times, Batman by 750 times and the Green Lantern by 677 times.
It’s now up to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to look at the AP’s results and determine if the glasses in question fall under the category of “children’s products,” which would make them subject to the stricter lead limits.
In related news, Coca-Cola announced that it is pulling 22,000 sets of decorative glasses from shelves because they “did not meet our quality expectations.”
“While recent tests indicated some cadmium in the decoration on the outside of the glass, the low levels detected do not pose a safety hazard or health threat,” writes the company about the glasses that are meant to look like Coke cans.