crystal decanter 

Lead Crystal Decanter And Its Dangers

Why is the lead crystal decanter considered dangerous and risky nowadays? In 1674 the process of making lead crystal became extremely successful in London. However, there have been concerns expressed about the dangers of lead crystal decanters.

Glass made from silica sand, potash and limestone has been made for thousands of years. The introduction of lead crystal produced an object of sparkling beauty which has been admired and used to adorn many homes ever since.

The process of making lead crystal involves adding lead oxide to the molten glass before it’s blown, which makes the glass softer and easier to cut. The lead content within the glass produces a silvery appearance which is very pleasing to the eye and makes it a much sought after object. The more lead added to the glass during the process, the more sparkle there will be in the finished product. However, the higher the lead content the more skill is required by the glass blower, which makes the object more expensive.

After centuries of using the lead crystal decanter to adorn and enhance the dining table, it has now been discovered that lead can leak into liquids stored in these decanters contaminating them and causing health issues. Port wine stored in lead crystal was found to contain between 2000 and 5000 micrograms after a period of about four months.

White wine can in fact double it’s lead content within an hour, so it’s worrying to note how much lead content could possible seep into the wine after several hours. Brandy stored for months or years in these decanters will almost certainly have a very high level of lead seepage. Any liquid in fact stored in a lead crystal decanter will become contaminated over time, so it’s best to take precautions in order to avoid poisoning.

This doesn’t mean of course that you cannot still enjoy the beauty and delight of pouring wine from your crystal decanter at table. You can safely use it to serve your wine as long as you don’t leave any leftover wine in the container at the end of the meal.

Don’t store Brandy, Port or indeed any other alcoholic beverage in decanters. You can pour it into the container before serving and then decant it back into a bottle afterwards. By following these simple steps you will eliminate the possibility of any seepage into your liquids and be assured you are not endangering the health of your guests.

To help to reduce health risks even further, it’s a good idea to soak your lead crystal decanter in vinegar for twenty-four hours prior to use. Follow this by washing with a mild detergent and rinsing thoroughly. Also, avoid serving pregnant women or children from a lead crystal decanter, as they’re at an increased risk from the dangers of lead poisoning.

If you want to continue to enjoy your lead crystal decanters you can, but be diligent in your use of them and ensure that you do not leave liquids stored in them for any appreciable length of time. Dangers of lead crystal decanters are very real, but providing you use them sensibly any risks to your health can be avoided.