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  QUESTION: Can lead crystal be used for short periods of time by adults? 14 Oct 2004, Pennsylvania USA

I HAVE SOME OLD CRYSTAL GLASSES AND SERVING DISHES. I'm sure some of them are lead crystal, but don't know which ones. How would I be able to know which are which. Another question is can they be used for short periods of time by adults. i.e. a glass of wine in a lead crystal glass, butter in a butter dish, desert in a serving dish? Even if they would have lead, being used by adults, about how long could a drink or food be in contact with the dish/glass without harmful lead contaminating one.

thank you

ANSWER: 14 Oct 2004

Dear Barbara,

the duration of a meal is generally regarded as the acceptable time period in which food or drink should remain in lead crystal. The spot test kits called Lead Check (see can be used to distinguish your leaded crystal from your non-leaded crystal.

Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

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