Alcoholic beverages are available in fascinating bottles of different shapes and sizes. People usually opt for the ones which make them feel proud to pour a drink from and display on their bar counters. This is the reason why breweries and distilleries across the globe are always experimenting with their packaging and coming up with extraordinarily designed bottles. Unfortunately, these visibly pleasing bottles in which various types of beers, wines, spirits, and other forms of alcohol are dispensed may present some serious dangers.
A study, published recently in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, established that the different materials from which alcohol bottles are manufactured contain some heavy metals in very high quantities. The levels of heavy metals like cadmium and lead are so high that the manufacturers might be violating the law.
Heavy metals concentrated in exterior ornamentation
The researchers investigated the glass used to manufacture various types of alcoholic beverages. They also analyzed the enamel used to embellish the outer surface of the bottles to make them attractive. It was observed that the glass contained heavy metals like chromium, cadmium, and lead, however, the levels were low enough to not raise any alarms. On the other hand, the exterior enhancement of the bottles tells a different story. The level of lead was nearly 80,000 parts per million (ppm) and that of cadmium was at 20,000 ppm. To provide a comparison, modern paints are allowed to use only 90ppm of lead.
Andrew Turner, principal author of the study, shared that it is shocking to see such high levels of poisonous substances present in products used in daily life. This shows that harmful substances are being used when they could be replaced with alternatives readily available. Then there is an additional threat of these toxins leaching into the content of the containers during the process of recycling and getting mixed with other substances.
Some of the samples that the study observed had such high quantities of heavy metals that they exceeded the maximum permissible limit set by the U.S. government for consumer packaging. Turner suggested that this could be because beverage manufacturers are importing these bottles from places that have more laws in place for the toxic substances present in the products they package.
Not only bottles, the product is also harmful
The rationale behind using fancy bottles is to lure more customers into buying alcohol leading to more consumption. Excessive consumption could soon turn into a dependence and then an addiction, which can have debilitating consequences. It can give rise to alcohol use disorder (AUD), alcoholic polyneuropathy (disease of the peripheral nerves), alcoholic liver disease, alcoholic myopathy (disease of muscle tissue), alcoholic cardiomyopathy (heart disease), alcoholic gastritis (inflammation of the stomach), alcohol-induced pancreatitis (inflammation of pancreas), fetal alcohol syndrome (birth defects), depression, epilepsy, stroke, and some cancers. Additionally, it can cause driving under the influence (DUI), road mishaps, violence, unsafe sexual practices, joblessness, homelessness, and a hoard of other complications.
Seeking help for alcoholism
Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease and, if left untreated, can take a toll on one’s physical and psychological health. It can affect one’s productivity and also ruin their relationships, both at home and at work. Fortunately, alcoholism is treatable with timely intervention. The Florida Alcohol Addiction Helpline can provide you with a host of information on AUDs and treatment modalities available. Our specialists can help you connect with the best inpatient alcohol treatment centers.
If you or your loved one is addicted to alcohol, contact the experts at Florida Alcohol Addiction Helpline for immediate assistance. For more information about inpatient treatment for alcoholism, call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-220-5381 or chat online with a representative.