Artificial Christmas trees have come a long way since they were first created by the Addis Brush Company in 1930. Today there are numerous styles, shapes and sizes of fake trees available from replica spruce pines to even red and black trees. 80% of Americans own a fake Christmas tree but how many know that the tree they haul out of storage every year could be potentially harmful to themselves, their family and even the environment?
The toxins lurking in artificial Christmas trees can be harmful to the health of your family.
According to the US Commerce Department over 85% of artificial Christmas trees are made in China and are made using materials that are carcinogenic. The branches and needles used to make that fake Christmas tree look more real are made from PVC.
PVC contains contains vinyl chloride that can release dixons into the air and cause lung issue. And if that isn’t bad enough the PVC is also softened with phthalates that have been linked to asthma, breast cancer, obesity, type II diabetes, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and more.
If phthalates aren’t bad enough you have to worry about lead too
A 2002 study conducted by the University of North Carolina – Asheville “found that three out of four artificial trees tested contained lead.”
When you purchase an artificial tree manufactured in China they are most likely made from PVC and lead used to “stabilize the PVC.” Over time the lead “breaks down into lead dust that is released into the air.”
What should you do to protect your family this Christmas?
- Don’t allow children or pets near the Christmas tree.
- Don’t allow children or pets to touch the tree or Christmas tree lights.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with the Christmas tree.
- Avoid vacuuming any dust under the tree. This can make lead dust airborne.
- Do not place presents under the tree.
The best and safest option when it comes to artificial Christmas trees
If you want an artificial tree purchase a PVC-free or Eco-Friendly Christmas tree. These are made without toxic lead and are safer for your family and better for the environment.