Remember the Magic … with a dash of LEAD! (And Cadmium for good measure.)
For those new to this website:
Tamara Rubin is a multiple-Federal-award-winning independent advocate for childhood Lead poisoning prevention and consumer goods safety and a documentary filmmaker. She is also a mother of Lead-poisoned children (two of her sons were acutely Lead-poisoned in 2005). Since 2009, Tamara has been using XRF technology (a scientific method used by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) to test consumer goods for toxicants (specifically heavy metals — including Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Antimony, and Arsenic). All test results reported on this website are science-based, accurate, and replicable. Items are tested multiple times to confirm the test results for each component tested. Tamara’s work was featured in Consumer Reports Magazine in February 2023 (March 2023 print edition).
Originally Published: March 8, 2019
Updated: Monday — October 31, 2022
When tested with an XRF instrument (the same instrument used by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission to determine if consumer goods are safe for use by children — with safety concerns related to the presence of toxic heavy metals like Lead, Cadmium, Arsenic, Mercury, and Antimony), this Walt Disney World “Remember The Magic” drinking glass (promotional giveaway from McDonald’s in 1996) had the following readings on the painted decorative design on the outside of the glass:
- Lead (Pb): 73,300 +/- 2,300 ppm
- Cadmium (Cd): 1,855 +/- 114 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 7,658 +/- 458 ppm
- Platinum (Pt): 608 +/- 215 ppm
- Cobalt (Co): 7,816 +/- 432 ppm
- Metals not listed were not detected by the instrument (in consumer goods mode).
- Results were replicable with tests done for at least 60 seconds.
The amount of Lead considered toxic (and illegal) in the paint or coating made today of any item intended for use by children is 90 ppm Lead or higher. Paint will be considered “Lead paint” if the Lead level is 5,000 ppm or higher. All federal agencies agree there is no safe level of Lead exposure to humans and that it just takes a microscopic amount of Lead to poison a child.
Cadmium is a known carcinogen. There is no comprehensive federal regulatory standard yet in the U.S. limiting Cadmium in all items intended for use by children; for reference, the amount of Cadmium considered unsafe (and illegal) in any items intended for use by children in the State of Washington is 40 ppm Cadmium or higher.
Given what we know about their disastrous effects on the human body, there is no room for toxic heavy metals like Lead and Cadmium in our kitchen and dining rooms (or anywhere in our homes, for that matter). If you have one of these glasses in your home, I strongly recommend that you consider throwing it in the trash (and also making sure it breaks — so no one will ever be tempted to use it in the future). “But Tamara, the Lead paint is only on the outside of the glass, why is this a problem?” Here’s an answer to that question!
To my knowledge, this glass was never recalled for Lead by McDonald’s or Disney, and they can be found ALL OVER e-Bay for sale for about $10 or so. I bought this particular example for my “Museum of Lead” collection since so many people have asked me about this exact glass.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions. I will do my best to answer them personally as soon as I have a moment. In the meantime, here are some additional categories of tested products (with full test results and narrative summaries) related to this glass that might be of interest to you. (Click each of the phrases below to see more of those items and their test results here on this website):
- Cartoon Character Glasses
- McDonald’s Collectible Glassware
- Disney Items
- Mickey Mouse Items
- Glassware — all types
- Here’s a study from England in 2017 about the potential for harm caused by glassware like this.
Thank you for sharing and for reading the articles here on LeadSafeMama.com/TamaraRubin.com! In addition to serving as a valuable tool to inform and educate your families and communities, your shares help support and fund this work. For examples of safer choices for glassware for your family (Lead-free choices!), please check out this link.
Owner — Lead Safe Mama, LLC