ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREES may have LEAD

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by victoria, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. victoria

    victoria New Member


    December 3, 2003

    Some holiday trees, greenery may contain lead;
    Artificial Christmas trees containing PVC may be risky.

    By Faith Peppers, University of Georgia

    Preliminary research has found that artificial Christmas trees made with PVC may contain lead.

    In a study of new and used artificial trees, the Environmental Quality Institute at the University of North Carolina-Asheville found that some trees contained lead.

    "Researchers studied the trees for a month, using weekly wipe samples taken from below the tree," said Jorge Atiles, a University of Georgia Extension Service housing specialist.

    "The study found that two of the used trees with lead in the PVC branch material emitted high levels of lead," Atiles said. "While the use of lead as a PVC stabilizer is becoming more infrequent, some common Christmas products such as artificial trees made in China may contain lead used as a PVC stabilizer."

    WHAT CAN YOU DO?
    If you're concerned about your PVC tree, garland or wreath, you can have items tested for lead emission with a kit from the Environmental Quality Institute.

    The kit costs $15. Mail orders with checks to FE/EQI CPO #2331, UNC-Asheville, Asheville, NC 28804. You'll get a test kit with instructions, disposable lab gloves, a lab wipe and vial, a research questionnaire and a return mailer, Atiles said.

    In the meantime, if you suspect your tree or other PVC product may contain lead, minimize your family's exposure to them. Atiles offers these tips:

    If you have children, consider getting new products and disposing of the old ones.

    Check the labels of PVC Christmas products before you buy them. Companies are now required to disclose if any products may contain lead. To date, there are no recalls or exchange programs for these products.

    Wash your hands after touching the item.

    PVC products may degrade in sun and heat. Clean the entire area carefully to eliminate any lead particulate matter.

    LEAD EXPOSURE RISK
    "Children are more susceptible to the negative effects of lead exposure, which can range from learning disabilities to seizures and death," Atiles said.

    "Exposure can come from airborne lead dust, emitted from the tree, which may be breathed into children's lungs," he said. "Lead dust also may settle on the ground and on gifts stacked under the tree."

    Children ingest the lead when they touch the ground and the gifts and then put their contaminated hands into their mouths.

    Until safe levels of lead exposure are determined, it's important to keep children from coming in contact with the tree and lead dust emitted from it, Atiles said.

    For more information on lead contamination, visit the World Wide Web at yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/.

    (Faith Peppers is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)






  2. sofy

    sofy New Member

    for the warning. I have had a white painted stick for the past several years that I use for a tree but it showing signs of age. Was thinking about an artificial tree but not now.
  3. victoria

    victoria New Member

    that sounds like something that could be pretty cool...

    Maybe a small dead tree painted white or green... would last for a few years,

    and depending on size one could probably get or tape together a few pieces of plastic to protect from dust/dirt rest of the year...

    as long as you had a place to store it, guess storage could be a major problem.

    all the best,
    Victoria
  4. victoria

    victoria New Member

    since it's that time of year...
  5. victoria

    victoria New Member

    but for some that is not an option due to allergies to molds or the tree itself. I know several people who felt bad during Christmas but got better immediately once the tree was gone... so if you want some type of tree inside to be traditional, one has to be creative to think up alternatives.

    all the best,
    Victoria
  6. JLH

    JLH New Member

    We've had the Charlie Brown trees that we cut down off of our own hills with the kids when they were young, we've bought them off of tree lots, we have purchased the expensive potted trees and replanted them in the yard after Christmas, and then we went to the artificial trees when we discovered that one of our daughters was allergic to the "real" trees whether they had been cut or not.

    So now the artificial ones may have lead.

    Maybe it's because it is 2:10 am in the morning and I am really tired and grouchy and ready to fall asleep, but I am getting rather tired of hearing something bad about EVERYTHING ON THIS EARTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Everything we eat, there is a warning out about it--we're going to catch something. All the fabrics that are clothes are made out of, the materials our vehicles are made of, EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING.

    I just get tired of listening to all of it. I still drink decaf coffee even if it will kill me, for example. Worrying about the conditions of what will happen to me if I continue to eat foods, wear clothes, smell flowers, breathe the air, drive my car, etc. is enough to make a person crazy.

    OK ... now you think I"m CRAZY!!! I am! I'm going to go crazy if I don't make it to my bed really soon!

    Sorry to get on a soapbox when I am sleepy, grumpy, in pain, and can barely function to type any longer tonight!

    I bet tomorrow morning, I will wish I didn't even write this!! LOL

    Good night,
    Janet
  7. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    though there are some things that are just SO dangerous to all of us that we need to at least be aware of them.
    What we are getting is what we are reaping from sowing our American greed and desire for everything on earth new and cheap. We had standards here that made our manufacturers look out for our interests at least MORE than the imported stuff is regulated. It's NOT. We hear about how the country hates the "dumping" that other countries do with the free trade, we have to take whatever is sent and oh well.

    But we asked for it. We shop Walmart, we love online cheap electronics, we rush to sales of imported clothes that are poorly made and made with questionable fabrics with lead zippers etc, we buy cheap cribs and toys--on and on, to get as much of the "stuff" as we can own. We have to have it all and we want it cheap. I heard on the radio that if your coffee cup paint cracks a little, toss it out, as if it is an import it may release lead in the paint or things in the ceramic.

    China is introducing a $10,000 car this coming year while GM goes under.
    Toyota is now the number ONE seller.
    Some blame it on the high wages and the safety standards in our country, but that isn't it. We SHOULD pay our workers a living wage, and we should buy less to buy quality and to keep what businesses that are still here here. But will we? No. Wait and see the lines for the new cars and it will tell you the whole story. I'm not against trade, but I wish it had to be equal and fair and SAFE.
  8. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Of course, you are totally correct and I agree with you wholeheartedly and 100%!

    I now know that I was thinking "a little" bit in the wee hours of the morning -- my last sentence was true!! I wish I wouldn't have written that!!

    Crunch, crunch -- I am eating my words. Now, I need a glass of water, please!


    Hugs,
    Janet