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Some Decorative Glassware Found to Contain High Levels of Lead and Cadmium

EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides consumer product testing services to identify heavy metals and other hazardous substances in all types of materials.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

Late last month, Consumer Reports published an article about a study that examined the safety of painted glassware. The study was conducted in the United Kingdom and examined the presence of toxic heavy metals in new and secondhand glassware produced in China and the European Union.

According to the report, over 70 pieces of painted glassware were tested and more than 70% of the painted surfaces tested positive for lead (40 to 400,000 ppm) and almost 70% contained cadmium (300 to 70,000 ppm). These alarmingly high percentages are a significant health concern as these heavy metals could leach out of the paints and glazes or pieces could come loose and be ingested.

Exposures to elevated levels of lead or cadmium are a serious risk. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR), “Eating food or drinking water with very high cadmium levels severely irritates the stomach, leading to vomiting and diarrhea, and sometimes death. Eating lower levels of cadmium over a long period of time can lead to a build-up of cadmium in the kidneys. If the build-up of cadmium is high enough, it will damage the kidneys. Exposure to lower levels of cadmium for a long time can also cause bones to become fragile and break easily.”

Ingesting lead is also a serious concern, especially for children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body and no safe blood lead level in children has been identified.

“While this study was conducted in the UK, painted glassware is also popular here in the United States, especially around the holidays,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Despite existing regulations in the U.S. designed to prevent products with dangerous levels of heavy metals from reaching consumers, they are still a concern because so few imported products are tested. At EMSL, we offer lead, cadmium and other heavy metal testing services for consumer products of all types. These services are available to consumers, regulators, health professionals, manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers.”

To learn more about consumer product testing services, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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