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The Emperor Would Be Pleased

Remember those Star Wars, Disney and McDonald’s character glasses we so highly coveted when we were kids? Turns out they’re more dangerous than the Death Star. The scrutiny began last year when some 12 million Shrek glasses were recalled by McDonald’s. Now the Associated Press has concluded in study released today that some of the most recent glass giveaways have as much as 1000 times the government allowed levels of lead. Mostly the lead resides in the paint used to decorate the glasses. The AP tested Wizard of Oz, DC Comics Superhero glasses and glasses available online through Coca-Cola and found dangerous levels of both lead and cadmium.

“In all, AP scrutinized 13 new glasses and 22 old ones, including glasses sold during McDonald’s promotion for a 2007 “Shrek” movie. The used glasses date from the late 1960s to 2007, mostly from promotions at major fast-food restaurants. Thousands of such collectibles are available at online auction sites; countless others are kept in American kitchen cabinets, and used regularly by children and adults.
The glasses were tested according to the procedure that the safety commission used in the “Shrek” recall. The decorated surface of each glass was stroked 30 times with water-soaked wipes, with each stroke representing a hand touch. The wipes were then analyzed for how many micrograms of lead, cadmium or other elements they collected. For seven of the superhero and Oz glasses the lab extracted samples of the decorations. That colored enamel was analyzed for its total lead content.
AP’s testing, conducted by ToyTestingLab of Rhode Island, found that the enamel used to color the Tin Man had the highest lead levels, at 1,006 times the federal limit for children’s products. Every Oz and superhero glass tested exceeded the government limit: The Lion by 827 times and Dorothy by 770 times; Wonder Woman by 533 times, Superman by 617 times, Batman by 750 times and the Green Lantern by 677 times. “
So now we know why all those geeks that collect Star Wars and Star Trek glasses are a little off. They’ve had a shelf full of lead and cadmium radiating death into their brains. As Vader would say ‘Yes indeed, the Emperor will be pleased.’

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