Sunday, November 4, 2012

Exploding Pyrex

It is Sunday night and hubby was taking his roast beef out of the oven when the hot Pyrex 9x13 pan exploded sending shards across the kitchen.  He had just placed it on the stove top (on an element that had not been on since my morning coffee) and taken his oven mitts off the handles.  Fortunately, there was only a little greasy juice in the pan, and there were no little children in the area.  But the fact that a glass dish can do this is pretty horrifying.

Wanting to know if this was more than just a freak occurrence i googled it, and found out that Consumer Affairs has a page with 1,230 Complaints and Reviews of Pyrex, 72% of which are very negative.

It is quite something to read the reports of consumers on the above site, as one after another they relate their exploding Pyrex experiences, often with injury from big flying shards of hot glass and spattering hot liquids, sometimes with burned floors and damaged ovens.

It appears that exploding Pyrex has been a problem here in the U.S. for the past two or three years and the mother company has denied all responsibility for resulting damages.  The company, World Kitchen, says people aren't heeding the small print on the labels and that burns and cuts caused by the shattering pans are the consumers' own faults.

Consumer Affairs provides an article that explains the findings of test results on the glass composing the Pyrex dishes in the U.S. vs the Pyrex pans manufactured in the EU (where Pyrex pans don't seem to explode).  Basically the EU cookware is still made using borosilicate glass (which is very forgiving of temperature shock), and the U.S. Pyrex is made using the cheaper soda lime glass (like i make my beads with), but they claim it is tempered, so that if it breaks from a temperature shock it will break in little cubes like automobile windows do.  Tests showed that this tempering is often absent in a dish or unevenly done.  In our own case, and in all of the incidents i read about, the glass broke explosively, in shards.

We only have one other Pyrex dish, and you better believe it has been retired.

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