Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer visited Wayne County Monday to promote not only buying trees from local tree farms but to warn of the dangers of lead in artificial trees.
“All the safeguards that we've put to protect our children from lead-tainted toys would become a stocking full of coal if the toys were safe and the trees were not,” says Schumer who has sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission urging an investigation of the lead levels in artificial trees.
“The popularity of artificial trees has exploded in recent years and most of them come from
In fact, 85% of the artificial trees sold in the
“It's a hazard, kids are going to go up to the trees, they’re going to be touching the lights, they're going to be hanging the ornaments on it,” says Joan Roby-Davison, a member of Rochester’s Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning.
While the lightening on pre-lit artificial Christmas trees can pose dangers with regard to lead, the plastic branches pose an additional hazard. The plastics contain a chemical called polyvinylchloride or “PVC” which was added to the household products list by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, citing the chemical’s potential to cause cancer, damage to the immune functions and impair a child’s development. In the
“Despite the unhealthy lead found in the Christmas trees, major retail stores here in the