Author Topic: Toxic free crystal  (Read 2665 times)

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Offline sph@ngw

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Toxic free crystal
« on: August 03, 2009, 03:58:15 PM »
We were recently asked by a major British Conservation Society whether we had a "totally non toxic crystal".
We stopped making lead crystal in April 2003 from litharge, and only used cullet in very small ( under 20 tonnes a year) quantities.
Most crystal of any quality uses lead, barium or arsenic or antimony in its composition.
I am not trying to scaremonger, most of these chemcials are virtually inert, but they are none the less toxic in varying degrees as chemicals. There was the  Dr Joseph Gaziano scare in the States a few years back about lead leaching from decanters into drinks when kept on the sideboard ( I assume most members will not be so stupid and finish a bottle or decanter each time. Who keeps port for sevral months stewing in a decanter?).
Does any member know of a crystal that prides itself in being "totally non toxic", ie containing no single  ingredient that has any toxic side effects in what ever quantity.
In the new green world we live in, this is the way things are moving.
Incidentally I read that RCR Calp in Italy, perhaps the second biggest lead crystal maker in the world after Durand, has announced it will not use lead any more!


Offline Ivo

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Re: Toxic free crystal
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2009, 04:32:27 PM »
read that RCR Calp in Italy, perhaps the second biggest lead crystal maker in the world after Durand, has announced it will not use lead any more!

so they may change their name to Royal I-can't believe it's not Crystal- rock!
Ivo
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Offline Frank

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Re: Toxic free crystal
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2009, 07:32:52 PM »
Has anyone compared the toxic impact of crystal compared to say car exhausts :spls: but of course that would be political suicide.
Frank A.
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Offline Anne

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Re: Toxic free crystal
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2009, 02:14:23 AM »
I've never tried to keep my booze in a car exhaust, Frank!  >:D


Offline sph@ngw

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Re: Toxic free crystal
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2009, 11:49:44 AM »
While I realise the "I can't believe..." comment was a joke , I shoudl  perhaps clarify ( forgive the intentinal pun on butter!), what crystal means....and here we get a bit technical.
To be recognised as "crystal glass"  according to Britsh Standard 3828 (1973- Definition of Crystal Glass, and
EU Crystal Glass products 69/493 EEC 19th March 2002 Gazette no 24700)a glass must contain Lead, Barium, Zinc or Potash combined or alone of at least 10 %, it must have a refractive index above 1.520  ( that is the amount of light it relects ie sparkle), and it must have a density above 2.54 grms per cm2. Onl;y then can it be called "crystal".
"Full lead Crystal, or "cristal superieur" in French, "Beli Kristall" in German must contain 24% lead at least, amny of the Stourbridge firms added 30-35% lead oxide to get the best cutting softness, sparkle and clarity!
However, I belive most manufacturers have dropped the word lead completely or say "lead free",  ( ie Waterford  Crystal, and Dartington Glass,)but that does not mean "non toxic"!
Sorry if this is a bit anoraky, but as glass lovers, it may helpthe mebers of this Forum, all being glass lovers,  to know the specific and legal definition of "Crystal glass"

Offline Mike M

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Re: Toxic free crystal
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2009, 07:36:17 AM »
Hi

I'm glad someone clarified the bit about Crystal = lead

but traditionally the greenest glass maker of all who have never ever used Lead

is  the great and wonderfull MOSER -long may they continue

cheers

Mike

Offline sph@ngw

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Re: Toxic free crystal
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2009, 03:55:57 PM »
Moser may claim their glass is non toxic, however they use antimony now regarded as a toxin, (although less dangerous than arsenic which it replaces), see Wikipedia,

"Antimony and many of its compounds are toxic. Clinically, antimony poisoning is very similar to arsenic poisoning. In small doses, antimony causes headache, dizziness, and depression. Larger doses cause violent and frequent vomiting, and will lead to death in a few days."

Yes, I know it is added in very small doses, but you cannot call a glass formula with antimony , "non toxic"!
Can I also add that while Moser has a brillant colour and complies to both the BS Standard and the EU as per "crystal", the glass has no "ring" to it, something the Glass Sellers Company in 1676, in their First Licence specifically mention as being a major quality of their Flint glass chrystall !


Offline Adam

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Re: Toxic free crystal
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2009, 08:24:30 PM »
In the forty-odd years since I left the glass industry has anyone come up with any scientific data to indicate that a measurable amount of lead can ever, in normal use, be leached out of lead crystal?

Adam D.

Offline Frank

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Re: Toxic free crystal
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2009, 03:03:38 PM »
There were some laboratory tests and I think they were referenced here a year or few ago. Of course the question of 'normal' use adds a layer of abstraction as how can it be defined other than statistically?
Frank A.
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Offline Ivo

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Re: Toxic free crystal
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2009, 02:12:08 PM »
I have  always maintained that the amount of alcohol you have to consume will kill you long before the lead in the decanter will.
Ivo
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