The cutting edge
Special Report: The cutting edge
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As the weather turns warmer, many of us will be spending more time eating and relaxing outdoors.
If you have glass furniture in your yard or patio or inside your home, there may be reason for concern.
Watch how this table breaks into tiny pieces.
This table's glass looks the same, but watch what happens. It shatters into dangerous daggers!
The difference between these two tables could be the difference between life and death.
Dave Juskow, from New York City, sat on his glass coffee table, and it shattered, severing a major artery.
"I was bleeding to death," said Juskow.
Dave went into cardiac arrest and almost died.
"I had lost 7-and-a-half pints. They told me the body has 8 pints. So, any second longer would have been pretty much it," said Juskow.
What happened to Dave is no isolated incident.
According to Consumer Reports, every year as many as 20,000 people in the U.S. are treated for injuries from glass furniture.
"Those glass shards become missiles that can penetrate any part of the body," said Dr. Michael Shannon, Children's Hospital.
Here in Massachusetts, emergency room doctors say children are the biggest victims.
"We have seen about 40 children in the past two years. They come in with bleeding that is difficult to control," said Dr. Shannon.
Glass tables can be made with tempered glass, which is often called safety glass, because it smashes into small pieces.
But they can also be made with untreated glass that fractures into frightening shards!
There are no laws in the U.S. requiring that glass furniture be made with the safer tempered glass, and very often, there is no way to tell which one you're buying.
But here's how you can play it safe this summer. Check for labels that say "tempered" or "safety" glass. If there are no labels, assume it is not safe glass.
If you have glass furniture on your patio or in your home right now and don't know what type it is, experts say to be extra careful you should replace the glass with tempered or plexiglass. A glass specialty store can do this for you.
That way you can enjoy the summer sun on your patio and stay safe from "The Cutting Edge."
Safety experts at Consumer Reports are fighting for standards to make sure all glass furniture is made with safety glass.
(Copyright 2007 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)