University of Plymouth researchers analyzed 72 new and second-hand decorated drinking glasses, including tumblers, beer and wine glasses, and jars as part of a new British study.
Around 7 out of 10 tested positive for lead or cadmium, both toxic metals. Lead was found in all colors and gold-leaf designs, while the highest concentrations of cadmium were in red enamel, the research team reported.
Cadmium can cause cancer, and studies have also linked it to bone softening and severe kidney problems. Lead in children’s bodies can lead to growth and developmental problems.
Some tests carried out by the researchers revealed lead levels 1,000 times higher than the acceptable limit, Turner’s group said.
The study also found that flakes of paint came off the glass under sustained simulated use. This means the chemicals could be ingested over a long period of time.
Last year, McDonald’s recalled 12 million Shrek-themed glasses because the painted designs contained cadmium, the researchers said.
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