Do HolidayLEDs.com's Christmas lights contain lead?
Yes. All Christmas lights contain lead.
Many people are alarmed about new lead warning labels that are showing up on certain electronic devices including holiday lights. These warning labels can be found on many common household electronic devices and are alarming to people because it is a new label and warns that the product contains lead. With recent recalls of children's toys manufactured in China which were found to contain lead most consumers have cause to be concerned. However, the new warning label does require some explanation.
The warning labels are the result of lead being added to a list of toxic materials that require disclosure pursuant to California's Proposition 65. This law requires all products sold in the State of California that contain any amount of a listed toxic material to contain a warning label.
One product that is now required to bear the warning label is holiday lights. Most all Christmas lights contain some amount of lead. In fact, they always have contained some amount of lead but no one was aware of it until California law required its disclosure. The lead in holiday string lights is used as an additive to the Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) wire covering. The lead acts as a heat resistant insulator and is also used to help stabilize the coloring of the wire. All PVC contains some sort of metal stabilizer including lead, cadmium or tin. Christmas lights have contained lead since they have used PVC as an insulating coating and pose no danger with normal use. Lead containing PVC is used in many common household applications including the PVC piping used to deliver our drinking water, other electrical cords which are insulated with PVC, and even car keys.
The warning does not mean the lights are not safe for their intended use. In fact, the U.S. government has determined that they are safe when properly used. However, because the lights contain some lead it is wise to follow some simple rules to limit the risk of exposure:
1. Do not allow children to handle the lights.
2. Always wash hands thoroughly after handling the lights.
3. Make sure curious toddlers are kept away from the lights and other items that may contain lead.