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Arnika: Glasses on Czech market contain heavy metals

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Prague, Aug 10 (CTK) – Two thirds of about 30 types of drinking glasses with printed decorations, which the Czech Arnika environmental group tested recently, contained a high concentration of lead and cadmium, Arnika said on Wednesday, adding that even glasses designed for children contain the dangerous metals.

The Health Ministry’s spokesman Ladislav Sticha told CTK that sanitary officers come across glasses dangerous to people’s health within the regular checks now and then. If so, the ministry always issues a warning for the consumers.

“For the time being, nothing seems to indicate that the situation is as dramatic as Arnika presents it,” Sticha said.

Arnika representatives said at a press conference that a common consumer cannot distinguish the dangerous substances, which is why people should buy glasses without a printed decoration.

Lead has neurotoxic effects on the development of children’s brain, while cadmium is carcinogenic, Arnika said.

It has released a list of glass producers and glass types on the Internet.

“For the time being, we have not found any Czech producers of glasses with printed decorations. In the Czech Republic, it is vendors on whom we want to focus because not even the vendor is capable of finding out whether the glass is safe or not,” Karolina Brabcova said on behalf of Arnika’s Let’s eat without poisons campaign.

The glass producers mostly come from Turkey, Italy and Indonesia.

It cannot be said that the cheaper a glass is, the higher is its quality, Brabcova said.

She said the legislative limits in this area date back to 1984, are quite low and outdated. That is why Arnika is negotiating with the EC about their toughening.

Another problem is that the heavy metals from the printed decorations leak to sewage and damage the environment.

If the criteria set by another EU directive were applied, the content of lead in the checked glasses would cross the limit 80 times and their sales would be banned, Brabcova said.

The above directive applies to objects that come in contact with mouth, but not to glasses, she said.

Glasses can be produced even without using heavy metals, she pointed out, adding that glasses produced by the IKEA company fared well in the tests.

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