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Bottles of beer, wine and spirits contain potentially harmful levels of toxic elements, such as lead and cadmium, in their enamelled decorations, a new study shows.
Researchers at the University of Plymouth analysed both the glass and enamelled decorations on a variety of clear and coloured bottles readily available in shops and supermarkets.
Cadmium - Lead - Chromium - Glass - Concentrations
They showed that cadmium, lead and chromium were all present in the glass, but at concentrations where their environmental and health risks were deemed to be of low significance.
However, the enamels were of greater concern, with cadmium concentrations of up to 20,000 parts per million in the decorated regions on a range of spirits, beer and wine bottles, and lead concentrations up to 80,000ppm in the décor of various wine bottles. The limit for lead in consumer paints is 90ppm.
Study - Elements - Glass - Fragments - Test
The study also showed the elements had the potential to leach from enamelled glass fragments, and when subjected to a standard test that simulates rainfall in a landfill site, several fragments exceeded the US Model Toxins in Packaging Legislation and could be defined as "hazardous".
Published in Environmental Science and Technology, the research was carried out by Associate Professor (Reader) in Aquatic Geochemistry and Pollution Science, Dr. Andrew Turner.
Paint - Enamel - Variety - Playground - Equipment
He has previously shown that the paint or enamel on a wide variety of items—including playground equipment, second hand toys and drinking glasses—can feature levels of toxic substances that are potentially harmful to human health.
Dr. Turner said: "It has always been a surprise to see such high levels of toxic elements in the products we use on a daily basis. This is just another example of that, and further...
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