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New Study Finds Christmas Lights Contain Unhealthy Amounts of Lead

Posted on December 17, 2010

Researchers at the Ecology Center in Michigan were curious — how many holiday lights contained dangerous levels of lead? So they tested 68 common types of holiday lights and discovered that 4 out of 5 strings of lights contained lead and 28 percent contained lead at hazardous levels that made them illegal to sell in Europe, reports an Ecology Center press release.

The Ecology Center released the findings on December 8. The environmental health organization is urging the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) along with light makers to phase out the light strings that contain lead immediately and is also asking Congress to pass the Toxic Chemical Safety Act (HR 5820) to protect consumers.

While Europe does not allow hazardous products to be sold to consumers, chemicals that have a tendency to build up and have been linked to reproductive problems, learning disabilities, cancer, and liver toxicity are sold to Americans.

The findings by the Ecology Center show that:

  • Holiday lights have lead in 79 percent of the light sets tested
  • 28 percent tested at levels that would be illegal to sell in the UK (1,000ppm)
  • It is recommended you wash your hands after handling lights
  • Look for lights that are RoHS compliant lights. RoHS or the Restriction of Hazardous Substances directive is law in the European Union and restricts the use of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated dephenyl ethers (PBDE)
  • IKEA claims to have RoHS compliant lights

If you or a loved one have been hurt by a defective product that should not be sold in the U.S. for environmental health reasons, the Florida product liability attorneys at Farah & Farah would be happy to discuss your case to determine if there is an at-fault party who is responsible for your injuries and therefore can compensate you for your medical expenses.