51  Does Antique Waterford Crystal create a lead exposure if used to serve wine or other alcohol beverages.

Does drinking out of Antique Waterford Crystal create a lead exposure?  This is an intriguing question, and a significant effort has been made to identify any lead exposure from drinking from glassware or storing beverages in decanters. 

A study was conducted at the author's home.  Glassware was placed on an open table and time was allowed to pass. The photographs below have the time of liquid exposure listed on the photograph.  The time that different beverages were left in glassware varied.  The time generally was far greater than one would expect to see if glassware was used on a table during a typical meal, social gathering  or meeting.  The goal there was to make certain that the liquid had a significant exposure to the glass material.  The thought process is if the lead could not leach out of the crystal glass in two days, the typical time period a beverage was served would not have any possibility to leach out in less time.

Beverages were selected based on acidity and alcohol content.  Further work is planned using acetic acid and fracturing the glass vessels prior to analysis.  The goal would be to observe the threshold where lead becomes available to a liquid stored or held in the vessel.


The results so far are that lead is not available when drinking from crystal glasses. 

Lead was detected in the beverages in both decanters tested.  After approximately two years in one decanter and two months in a second decanter.

Using lead crystal decanters can create a lead exposure.   Using crystal beverage glasses does not seem to create the same risk.  

Laboratory Reports:
Report 1
Report 2


Photographs (via index2):

Photographs (via photo.php):