Bottles of beer, wine and spirits contain potentially harmful levels of toxic elements, such as lead and cadmium, in their enamelled decorations, a study has found.
Researchers at the University of Plymouth in the UK analysed both the glass and enamelled decorations on a variety of clear and coloured bottles readily available in shops and supermarkets.
They showed that cadmium, lead and chromium were all present in the glass, but at concentrations where their environmental and health risks were deemed to be of low significance.
However, the enamels were of greater concern, with cadmium concentrations of up to 20,000 parts per million in the decorated regions on a range of spirits, beer and wine bottles, and lead concentrations up to 80,000ppm in the decor of various wine bottles. The limit for lead in consumer paints is 90ppm.