Could your artificial Christmas tree be hazardous?

Could your artificial Christmas tree be hazardous?

Artificial Christmas trees may not be as dangerous as people think, according to a recent report from Inquisitr.

Health experts speculated that polyvinl chloride (PVC) might be a compound used in the synthetic plastic to make the tree. Previous studies have identified that PVC contains metal compounds including tin, barium and lead, all of which are used to help make the tree fire-resistant.

Some medical experts believed that the toxins are released in the air, causing people to become sick.

“PVC releases gases known as volatile organic compounds, which are gases that can irritate the eyes, nose and lungs,” Dr. Glenn Harnett, chief medical officer, said in the report.

But, there is limited data to back up that the tree can be toxic since similar toxins are detected in household products. It also depends on the amount of exposure to the chemicals.

The American Christmas Tree Association also reported that PVC is a perfectly safe product under normal conditions of use.

Dr. Tony Hampton, family medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group in Chicago, suggests the following tips before purchasing your next artificial Christmas tree:

  • Look for a PVC-free artificial tree made of polyethlene.
  • Check the expiration date for Christmas trees. The longer you have the Christmas tree, the more likely toxic gases are released due to PVC breaking down over time. PVC begins to weaken after nine years.
  • Keep a watch on toddlers to make sure they don’t put the tree in their mouth or ingest the pines.
  • After the artificial tree is purchased, let the tree breathe by having it outside for a few hours.

“Warning signs of lead poisoning in children include tiredness, hyperactivity, irritability, reduced attention span, poor appetite, weight loss, trouble sleeping, constipation, aches and pain,” says Dr. Hampton. “If you suspect your child has been exposed to a toxic material, call Poison Control or 911 immediately.”

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Comments

4 Comments

  1. first, we have to not use real trees, because that is wasteful, and harmful. Now, we aren’t supposed to use the artificial trees, because they might be harmful. Just admit it. You don’t want us to celebrate the birth of our Lord.

  2. You don’t need a decorated tree to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Go to church.

  3. You don’t need a tree to celebrate Jesus. In fact, using trees (especially evergreens) is a distinctly pagan custom; and God said to NOT honor Him the same way the heathens honor their gods. (besides, He was actually born in the fall. ) No – in my opinion this is God squeezing the impurities out of the christian faith and bringing us back to the faith truly held by the original 12 disciples.

  4. I celebrate the true meaning also, but I can see why people like a lit tree – the lights! What we did was decorate a simple 4′ tree but also put up a 1 1/2′ lit-up star (the kind you put on the widow with suction cups) on the wall over a nativity scene. We decided to leave up the star – because we love the little lights in the room AND it has special meaning for us.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.