Herts firm announces non-toxic glass – a world first?

Posted on 27 Jun 2011 by The Manufacturer

A small Hertfordshire-based company has spent £150,000 over 18-months developing a new kind of glass – unique due to its complete lack of toxins.

Governments around the world today are increasingly anxious to limit the number and amount of toxins contained in products available to the public. Managing director of Nazeling Glass Stephen Pollock-Hill claims to have solved the problem with a new type of crystal glass that is completely free of arsenic, barium, and antimony, among other chemicals and toxins.

Mr Pollock-Hill explained: “While there are “lead free crystal” recipes on the market, this is believed to be the first attempt to manufacture a glass that contains no toxic ingredients, as defined by the European Chemicals Handling Agency, as ‘Substances of Very High Concern’.”

Glass manufacturers confederation British Glass estimates that the world market for lead glass is Eu2.6bn a year. Thirty five per cent of this is estimated to be made in the US, home to one of the strictest regulatory bodies in the world, the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The potential market for the new glass is significant, according to Pollock-Hill.

“There is ever increasing pressure from the US to label lead crystal as ‘toxic and potentially harmful’ – especially under Proposition 65 in California – all toxic products must be clearly labelled individually and in the store Department,” he explained.

Commentators on growing government legislation related to the regulation of toxins and chemicals include manufacturers’ organisation EEF, who have warned UK companies that they are set to face further limitations on the number of certain toxic substances found inside products.

EEF’s Susanne Baker said earlier this month in a statement to the manufacturer: “There is the potential for disruption to supplies if substances, or components reliant on those substances, are withdrawn from the market.”

“Companies will have possible reputational risks as a result of NGO and media responses to new disclosure obligations. And there are potential loss of business and the threat of fines if companies are prosecuted for failure to comply,” she added.

George Archer