Something that I learned Saturday at the Fall & Winter Vegetable Gardening class is pretty important. Since I was clueless about this, I thought I'd share. On Pinterest I have a board for images about Salvage Garden Art. All the images on that board have to do with recycling old items and creating something new, including old windows. I had several images of greenhouses made using old windows.
At the class Saturday they pointed out that tender greens (lettuce, spinach, etc.) can absorb lead. Yikes! They said to never use old windows for green houses or cold frames because they may have lead paint.
Children and seniors are also more susceptible to lead poisoning. There are a lot of sites on lead paint poisoning online where you can learn more. I'm not claiming to know anything about it, other than the fact that I wouldn't want to introduce it to my garden (or food) unknowingly.
Here are instructions on making a mini greenhouse from Habitat For Humanity Restore. These instructions note that old windows may have lead paint and advise priming and repainting them, so that's an option. There may be others, but knowing about the possible contamination will have me looking at other alternatives for using old windows and doors in edible gardens.
*These are all images I'd been collecting on Pinterest for garden ideas. They have all been deleted now that I understand how harmful using old windows could be if used without treating or testing first. To see all my boards, click on the red Pinterest button at the upper right of the page.