Glass Cookware Dangers


Many people enjoy using glass cookware for its versatility and attractiveness. However, there are dangers you should be aware of when you prepare food with glass cookware. With proper precautions and care, the dangers of glass cookware can be avoided so it can be used safely.

The Facts

  • Glass cookware is used for baking and stove top cooking. When glass cookware is manufactured, small amounts of harmful materials such as lead, cadmium, and pigment may be used in the process. Since glass is a breakable material, glass cookware can break unexpectedly, resulting in dangerous broken glass pieces.


  • Glass cookware is easy to clean and can be heated to fairly high temperatures. Clear glass cookware allows one to see how the food is doing during the cooking process without needing to lift the lid. Because glass cookware has a smooth, nonporous surface, food particles and odors do not adhere to the surface. Glass cookware is sturdy and resistant to wear and corrosion. Manufacturers are finding new and attractive uses for glass cookware. Glass cookware is available in a variety of colors and shapes.


  • Glass cookware can shatter or crack when exposed to extreme temperature changes, which subject it to thermal shock. Glass cookware is also liable to break when dropped. Glassware that is designed specifically for baking should not be used on range burners. Consumers should be aware that minor components used to manufacture glassware may include lead and cadmium or lead-traced pigment. These materials are harmful if they enter the body. Use caution if you purchase glass cookware abroad. Not all countries have standards on allowable levels of lead that are as stringent as the standards in the United States.


  • Glassware is considered safe for cooking when it is lead free or contains trace levels of lead considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration. The risk of injury from broken glass can be reduced when care is taken to avoid dropping and breaking dishes. Avoid the risk of breaking glass cookware with thermal shock by not subjecting dishes to extreme temperature changes.

Care of Glass Cookware

  • Glass cookware should be cleaned with mild, nonabrasive cleansers. Soaking is very effective for loosening burned-on foods. When scrubbing is needed, use plastic or nylon scouring pads, not metal. Dishes should not be subjected to extreme temperature changes. Never immerse hot glassware in water until the dish has reached room temperature.

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