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Consumer Reports Tests Glass Baking Dishes

PITTSBURGH -- Late last year, Consumer Reports analyzed more than 150 reports of glass baking dishes suddenly shattering.

Most involved Pyrex and Anchor Hocking dishes.

Since then, Consumer Reports has heard of more than 100 new incidents.

Though these reports represent only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions of pieces of glass bakeware in American kitchens, Consumer Reports is urging the government to investigate.

Barbara Trojanowski says she only uses metal pans after her glass baking dish shattered while it was sitting on top of a heated oven.

"All of a sudden I heard a bang, I felt it hit the back of my leg. The blood was pouring out all over the place," Trojanowski said.

Barbara's Achilles Tendon was severed. After surgery, she can walk again – but doubts she'll be able to ever gold or dance again.

Consumer Reports has analyzed 145 new reports of glassware shattering after its first investigation last December.

And it's not just bakeware that's shattering.

"There were eight reports involving glass bowls and seven involving glass measuring cups. Some shattered when hot water was poured into them. And others shattered in the microwave when used to heat foods, even though they're labeled microwave-safe," Andrea Rock of Consumer Reports said.

Pyrex and Anchor Hocking glass bakeware are now made of a type of glass called "soda lime" that has been heat-strengthened. Decades ago they were made of borosilicate.

Consumer Reports laboratory tests compared the two types of glass bakeware. New pans were subjected to extreme heat then put on a wet, granite countertop – conditions likely to cause breakage and contrary to the manufacturer's instructions.

Ten out of ten times the "soda lime" bakeware broke. But the borosilicate dishes did not break – although most did after baking at slightly higher temperatures.

Among the most important safety precautions – never place dishes on burners or under broilers and be sure to place hot glassware on dry potholders. Or simply use metal pans in the oven, as Barbara Trojanowski does.

Barbara is suing Anchor Hocking, which made the glassware she used. The company says it has been advised to not discuss legal matters. Both Anchor Hocking and the American manufacturer of Pyrex – World Kitchen – say it's important to follow safety warnings.

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