Glassing the invisible danger

Alasdair J. M. Forsyth

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter


    In recent decades the use of glass as a medium for manufacturing drinking containers has reduced. Today, milk is commonly sold in cartons, ‘soft drinks’ in plastic and hot drinks in ceramics. The one category of drink still commonly sold / served in glass vessels is alcohol, paradoxically the only beverage type associated with an increased risk of accidents and serious violence. This presentation will draw together evidence from a variety of studies conducted by the speaker, which, although none were specifically focused on ‘glassing’, found this issue to be most salient. These involved licensed premises observation (including the effects of a ‘glassware ban’), focus groups with street drinkers, a photo-survey of substance-use litter and a survey / qualitative interviews with convicted violent Young Offenders. Taken together a common theme emerged from these studies; one where alcohol-related glass, especially from off-trade beverages, was associated with injury risk and serious violence, to a greater extent than was the case with more high profile issues such as ‘knife carrying’ or discarded syringes. This disparity in concern is doubly unfortunate as glassing is a risk / weapon which can more easily be eliminated. However owing to the current dominant cultural and economic position occupied by glass in the alcohol market, it is recognised that in the shorter term, the goal should be to initiate gradual change by targeting high risk environments and beverages.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInjury Prevention
    Issue numberS1
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010
    Event10th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion - Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
    Duration: 21 Sep 201024 Sep 2010


    • liquid containers
    • manufacturing
    • social behaviour
    • licensed premises
    • assault


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