Originally posted by Board-O:
Is there any evidence that a significant amount of lead will leach out when repeatedly exposed to wine?
The number of times the lead crystal glass is used doesn't matter; usually the beverage isn't in it for very long.
However, I understand the two factors that ARE important in the leeching of lead are the acidity of the beverage (wine being one of the worst in that respect) and the amount of contact time. Fortunately, most people don't leave wine in a decanter or glass for storage (though years ago I did do that regularly with a Port decanter for as long as a week or so) so it's usually not an issue.
In any event, over the course of a meal there isn't enough time for wine to release a harmful amount of lead from the crystal, if any. I've noticed, though, that some crystal companies (Ravenhurst is one) now advertise that they're lead-free, so clearly some people must have a raised anxiety level about this.