Bloomberg News (12/8, Plungis) reported a study run by Michigan-based The Ecology Center, which revealed “fifty-four percent of holiday lights tested in a US study had more lead than regulators permit in children’s products, with some strands containing more than 30 times those levels.” Center research director Jeff Gearhart said “The last thing families want to be worrying about during the holidays is whether they are exposing their children to toxic chemicals by decorating their tree.” Scott Wolfson, spokesman for the US Consumer Protection Safety Commission stressed, “Holiday lights are not children’s products and CPSC advises parents to not allow children to handle or play with these lights.” But he added “The biggest hazard in holiday lights is electrical shocks and fire from undersized wiring or cracks in the lights.”
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