In the Wikipedia article on lead crystal it says that crystal glasses have become "rare" due to the "health risks" of lead.

This seems kind of crazy to me. Isn't the lead oxide in the glass bound within the crystal structure. The idea that the lead oxide could leach out of the glass into a drink and be a health risk seems unlikely. Is there any real evidence for this?

  • 2
    Did you read the section "Safety" of the article you've linked? Could you maybe edit your question and add, what remains unclear or is missing in that section?
    – Arsak
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 11:20
  • Yes., it is crazy; however , there is pottery that can leach lead into acidic liquids , apparently because they are fired at a lower temperature and do not incorporate the lead into solid solution ( like glass). Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


I did some additional research on this question and what I found out is that the health risk is only significant to workers making the glass. Drinking vessels made from lead glass are not dangerous as long as they are soaked before use. Lead can leach out, but only from the surface, so if the vessel is soaked in an acid after it is made, all the exposed lead oxide will be removed and the glass will be perfectly safe.

  • 5
    You could improve your answer by adding references.
    – Arsak
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 9:20

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