A new Consumer Reports investigation of glass bakeware reveals startling findings on the hazardousness of vessels Americans use to cook every day. Consumer Reports writes that it received 145 new reports in the past few months of glass “bakeware unexpectedly shattering, bringing to more than 300 the number of incidents we’ve reviewed.” CR also received 60 reports reports of injuries, including cuts and burns. CR conducted a test on bakeware from market leaders Pyrex and Anchor Hocking for shatter riskiness.
The investigators filled the bakeware with sand, heated it for for 80 minutes in a 450 degree oven, then set it down atop a wet granite countertop. They admitted that this procedure ran contrary to the manufacturers’ instructions, but, except for the sand, which gets hotter than food, the test replicates what happens in a typical kitchen.
Consumer Reports found that, in every case, new glass bakeware bought in America shattered, spilling dangerously hot sand and dangerously sharp glass everywhere (a link to the video of the test is provided below). The magazine also tested bakeware from Europe made from borosilicate, which is better at absorbing the shock of temperature gradients than soda lime glass, which has comprised American pyrex since the 1940s. (Before then, all glass bakeware was made from borosilicate.) The European borosilicate glassware did not shatter when subjected to the 450 degree test, though it did break when it was heated to 500 degrees.
The results of this test confirm a long-held suspicion that soda lime glass presents a dangerous risk of breakage. The CR concluded that while hundreds of millions of dishes are used safely each year, it believed the situation deserved further investigation. The investigators have asked the CPSC to conduct a thorough study of the glass bakeware on the market, with particular attention to the differences between bakeware made of soda lime and of borosilicate. The CPSC noted 24 cases on its new website www.safeproducts.gov.
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