Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Trees

This post is a little late for this year but its something to think about for next year.

Did you know that many artificial trees contain lead?????

Children who touch the tree and then put their hands in their mouth, or eat without washing, can ingest the lead. It can also be inhaled through dust in the air that comes from the tree. Lead is a neurotoxin and should be avoided at all costs, especially with young children.

What you can do:

- Buy a real tree! :) Artificial trees end up in landfills eventually.

- do not let children play with Christmas lights either as the coating on the wire USUALLY contains lead because its made from PVC (like the tree). Unfortunately so do many ornaments "made in china". Even trees made in the USA can contain lead.

- buy a lead test online for about $15 to test your tree. I found a kit at my local hardware store as well but Im not sure if they are as accurate

- if you have an older artificial tree, throw it out and get a newer one which should have lower levels of lead.

- gate the tree or put it somewhere that in inaccesible to your children

- If your child touches the tree, have them thoroughly wash their hands

- Do NOT put presents beneath the tree. dust containing lead can settle on the presents. Just store them somewhere else (this helps keep the focus off presents as well!)

This year we got a real, potted table-top tree that we can plant in our backyard after Christmas. Its a green idea and the kids love it!

Merry Christmas!



gracekellysmom said...

No!! Gosh another thing to stress about. Dh and I were just commenting as we put up the tree yesterday how wonderfully frugal we were because it was the tree my parents had for 15+ years, and they gave it to us when they became empty-nesters. I don't like real trees, but I do like the idea of getting a tree we could plant in the yard. Thirty years later we'd have thirty evergreens...

I want to start a tradition of homemade ornaments, out of wool and cotton like the waldorf-style dolls I'm making. or wool felt, or little twigs outside, or nuts or pinecones...

rachelle said...

I had bought a bunch of lead tests to test some toys. I threw out a bunch of toys without even testing, but wanted to test our favorites to make sure they were safe. Anyway, I had one left. I tested our tree, and it was fine, but it definitely showed lead for the lights. :( Maybe next year we'll have to forgo lights. Are there any alternatives? It's so frustrating!!!