In an article published on August 10, 2016 the Czech non-governmental organization Arnika informs about a testing campaign analyzing printed drinking glasses, conducted within the scope of its Let’s Eat Toxics Free initiative. Arnika tested 15 drinking glasses commercially available in the Czech Republic for the heavy metal content of the colored printing. Migration of heavy metals into food simulants was not tested. Ten of the glasses contained lead concentrations in the range of tens of thousands parts per million (ppm) and cadmium concentrations in the range of thousands ppm. Arnika notes that according to an amendment of REACH (Regulation (EU) 2015/628), the lead limit for articles that “may be placed in the mouth by children” is about 80 times lower than the concentrations they measured. However, the regulation does not apply to drinking glasses. Arnika further notes that manufacturers of five of the tested glasses avoid the use of colors containing heavy metals, showing that alternatives “are not only technically feasible, but also verified by the market already.” Arnika thus deems the continued use of heavy-metal-containing colors “unfounded, and, in a sense, even unpardonable.”
Already in May 2016 Arnika published the results of a testing campaign analyzing printed china dishes and finding that most of the tested items contained high levels of lead in the colored printing (FPF reported).
Arnika (August 10, 2016). “Summer soft refreshment drinks in glasses containing heavy metals.”