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reach for the glass New regulations come into force this year, controlling lead content in jewellery and other items; but some materials are considered exempt, such as crystal glass, for which Dippal Manchanda of the Birmingham Assay Office has developed a test. Determining whether a glass is half full or half empty has long been a topic for discussion. The subjective verdict is regarded as an indication of an individual’s attitude to life, which may shift and change according to their circumstances. Not so the definitive verdict of a rigorous new test developed by the Laboratory at the Birmingham Assay Office, to determine whether glass is full lead crystal, or any other type of crystal glass, as defined by an EU Directive of 1969 (Annex I of Council Directive 69/493/EEC-1969). This analysis delivers quantitative scientific information, which is not subject to change.

The new ‘crystal glass’ test has been developed specifically in response to customer demand as manufacturers and importers prepare for the forthcoming restrictions on the use of lead in jewellery products under the European REACH (Restriction, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation. Lead is a metal that is toxic at very low levels of exposure. It accumulates in the body, so that regular exposure to even very low quantities may result in harmful levels which can badly damage the intellectual and behavioural development of infants and young children. Children are especially susceptible while their central nervous system is still developing. Their tendency to ‘mouth’ or suck things makes them particularly vulnerable as this is behaviour that may occur regularly over time and result in chronic exposure. Exposure to lead can also be harmful to adult health. The products affected are..........To read more about the products included under the upcoming regulations and how the Laboratory can test to see if an item is crystal glass and therefore exempt make sure to visit our meet the experts page on The Birmingham Assay Office website – http://www.theassayoffice.co.uk/meet_the_experts/reachfortheglass_labexpert.html

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