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The blood level changes didn’t alarm Mushak, but he expressed concern because lead from the glasses would be absorbed into the bones, only to be released much later in life, for example in menopausal women.

Mushak suggested that the safety commission’s wipe test could underestimate real-world exposure, because it uses water on the wipes, a very mild approach. AP’s testing showed that when glasses were subjected to a wipe wetted with artificial sweat, the amounts of lead or cadmium that came off were up to four times higher than water wipes.

Members of the association representing the U.S. glassware industry say the glasses are safe and strongly protest that the wipe test does not accurately reflect how much lead or cadmium escapes in the real world.

Myra Warne, executive director of the Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorated Products, said she is frustrated that the CPSC used it, rather than a more commonly used method developed by the FDA.

“As we are aware, government agencies don’t always (or perhaps often) share their insight and knowledge with one another which is likely why CPSC and others are fixated on improper test protocol for our products,” she wrote in an e-mail.

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The AP National Investigative Team can be reached at investigate(at)ap.org