My wife gave me a very nice lead crystal (24%) decanter and glasses for my 50th recently.
Apparently, such glass should be used for serving from and drinking from but not for storage of liquids as over time lead will leech into the alcohol. This is a shame as I would have liked to keep it on the side with something in.
I checked with Royal Doulton (the makers) and their response (oddly, not included anywhere in or on the packaging...law suit awaits methinks) said
"We recommend to use decanters for serving and not for storage. Also we recommend filling with a 50/50 vinegar solution and letting stand for 24 hours before first use or after any long period between use( months). Any lead release does reduce significantly with frequent use."
So I was ruminating on that and came up with some logical questions:
1) Although it's not precisely the case, glass is for all intents and purposes a solid. How can lead in the centre of the mass move to the liquid/glass interface? Surely once all lead at the interface has leeched, no more can be present?
2) What replaces the lead? If the glass is 24% lead oxide and that leeches into the liquid in it's entirety, what replaces the 24%?
No doubt there is someone with more of a gift for chemistry than I have here on GZ who can answer!