Fake Plastic Trees Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

One of the main reasons that people buy fake plastic Christmas trees is because they have allergies. Sometimes people just don’t want to deal with a live Christmas tree in their homes. But, artificial Christmas trees can be hazardous to your health. Here are some of the issues that you need to consider before buying that fake plastic Christmas tree or taking the one that you already have out of storage.Chemical WarningsBefore purchasing a fake Christmas tree, you should read the label regarding their chemical content. Some of these trees contain lead and the fact that lead can cause birth defects. The label will probably instruct you to wash your hands before and after handling the tree. This is extremely important because you will be handling the tree a lot putting it together and decorating it and you don’t want to transfer anything from your hands to members of your family or your pets.PVCWhen you read the label on the box, check to see if the tree is made from polyvinyl chloride. This is the plastic component known as PVC. This type of plastic is being phased out by many of the larger retail stores because of its potential toxicity. Dioxin is a carcinogen and is found in PVC. This carcinogen has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive disorders. Dioxin is released when PVC is incinerated. Could the fake plastic tree be giving off these dioxin vapors when hot Christmas lights are used against the plastic tree needles?PVC also contains phthalates which is a softener. When phthalates are used indoors, it can promote the development of childhood allergies and autism. Phthalates are similar in their structure to human hormones so they can upset normal hormone functions. Exposure to the gasses of vinyl chloride, which is the VC in PVC, has been linked to liver cancer.You cannot safely dispose of PVC. If you throw your artificial tree out, it will end up in a landfill and will eventually leach toxic chemicals. It is not biodegradable and it cannot be burned because of the toxic chemicals that will be released. A fake Christmas tree does last a long time, maybe six years or longer, however, when it has reached its life expectancy, it does need to be safely disposed of and that is not possible.Something else to keep in mind when you are thinking about purchasing an artificial Christmas tree is that when the tree is manufactured, workers come into contact with these chemicals as they are released into the air.LeadLead is normally used as a stabilizer when PVC is made and as we all know, lead is a well-known poison. Chinese laws now require that tin be used in place of lead in the manufacture of PVC for these plastic trees, but there are many trees out there that were manufactured before this law went into effect and they do contain lead.DustIf you are allergic to dust, it will be hard to remove the dust from an artificial tree. And, when the dust particles fall from the tree when you have it set up in your home, those dust particles can contain lead.So this year when you are ready to purchase a Christmas tree, read the label on the carton to see what the tree is made of. If you are taking your fake Christmas tree out of storage, you may want to take it outside and blow the dust off of it with a vacuum cleaner. Another idea is to purchase a live Christmas tree that can be planted outside when the holiday season is over.

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