Glass Bakeware Poses Shatter Risk

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) – Plenty of people will be busy cooking this holiday season, but there could be a hidden danger lurking in your kitchen.

While hundreds of millions of glass dishes are used safely each year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said that from 1998 to 2007, almost 12 thousand people went to emergency rooms for treatment of injuries from glass bakeware that was dropped, broken or shattered during use. Consumer Reports found that shattering bakeware may be less common, but it poses a greater threat to consumers since it may break without warning.

“We wanted to investigate this because the number of complaints seemed to have increased lately,” said Don Mays, senior director of product safety planning and technical administration at Consumer Reports.

For its January issue, Consumer Reports decided to test dishes from the two big names in glass bakeware, Pyrex and Anchor Hocking.

Dishes were put through extreme conditions. In one test, they were baked in the oven on high heat and placed on a wet countertop, something that is not recommended when using glassware.

The glass exploded.

“We were surprised by the forcefulness with which this glass broke,” said Mays.

Consumer Reports blamed the problem on the type of glass now being used to make these products in the U.S.

“We believe that the glass bakeware that’s on the market today is different from what we used many years ago. And it probably has more propensity to shatter unexpectedly,” said Mays.

Pyrex says it’s used the same glass for the past 60 years, but its dishes do come with a list of warnings found on the back of the label, such as, “Failure to follow the warnings below may result in personal injury or property damage, or may cause your glassware to break or shatter immediately or later.”

Both Pyrex and Anchor Hocking said their bakeware is safe and has been used safely for generations.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is looking into the Consumer Reports test results.

What should you know when you’re using glass bakeware?

• DO NOT add liquid.
• DO NOT place on a wet or cool surface, (like a countertop or sink)
• DO NOT handle with wet cloth.
• DO NOT use under a broiler.
• DO avoid sudden temperature changes to glassware.
• DO allow your oven to pre-heat before using glassware.
• DO let your glassware cool off on something like a cooling rack,dry dish towel or pot holder.
• DO cool down the dish before washing, refrigerating or freezing.
• DO read your glassware’s label.

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