Beginning as early as the first century A. D. and continuing until at least the 1970s, uranium was used as a coloring agent in glass and in ceramic glazes. The leaching of uranium from such items is of interest as some were designed for food storage or serving. Thirty-three glass items and two ceramic items were leached sequentially with deionized water, dilute acetic acid, and 1 M nitric acid to assess realistic and worst-case scenario leaching by foods and beverages. The maximum quantity of uranium leached from the uranium-bearing glasses was about 30 µg L-1, while that from the ceramic-glazed items was about 300,000 µg L-1.
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Leaching of uranium from glass and ceramic foodware and decorative items