warning consumers about the excessive levels of lead, a highly toxic chemical,
in some Christmas lights, the EcoWaste Coalition today advised consumers to
watch out for other yuletide decorations with hidden toxins.
chemical safety, issued the warning after detecting dangerous levels of toxic
metals in 62 out of 80 Christmas decorations using an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF)
to 28 from retail shops teeming with budget shoppers at Divisoria and Quiapo,
Manila City, Monumento, Caloocan City and Mega-Q-Mart, Quezon City.
lanterns, trees, trinkets, serving platters and table decorations featuring
familiar characters such as Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus.
limit of 90 ppm for lead in paint and surface coatings. The other 12 samples had antimony, arsenic,
cadmium or chromium above levels of concern.
major public health concern, lead is extremely dangerous when ingested or inhaled,
especially by babies and young children, and is known to cause irreparable
damage to the developing brain.
sources of exposure as much as possible, including lead in paint, dust and soil
and, of course, in consumer products,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the
EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
their bodies are still developing and they tend to explore their surroundings
by touching, tasting, biting or chewing anything they can get their hands on,
including the power cord of Christmas lights and the trimmings and trinkets of
a Christmas tree,” he
the lead painted or glazed surface deteriorates, thus contaminating the ground where
children gather and play with lead dust,” he explained.
associated with lead exposure in children include learning disabilities, speech
and language impairment, decreased intelligence, attention deficit disorder,
reduced bone and muscle grown and behavioral issues.
chemicals from plastic-based Christmas decorations, and the occupational hazard
routinely faced by workers making or handling such products from the production
to the disposal chain.
natural and non-toxic materials to minimize lead exposure and environmental
pollution, especially at home and the workplace.
towards a safer yuletide celebration for the sake of our children and the
environment,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.
The top 20 samples laden with extremely high levels of lead include:
A big yellow star PVC plastic lantern (23,500 ppm)
A medium yellow star PVC plastic lantern with ring (16,100)
A small yellow PVC star plastic lantern (13,600 ppm)
A plate with a Christmas tree design (11,800 ppm)
A multi-purpose “Snowman” ceramic container (11,000 ppm).
A ceramic “Gingerbread House” (9,513 ppm)
A tiny green star PVC plastic lantern (7,868 ppm)
A medium red star PVC plastic lantern (6,943 ppm)
An ornamental house-shaped kettle (6,836 ppm)
A multi-color star PVC plastic lanter (6,614 ppm)
An evergreen garland (6,162 ppm)
A ceramic Christmas ball (5,249 ppm)
A small blue star PVC plastic lantern (5,023)
A decorative plate for display (4,388 ppm)
A Christmas tree-shaped plate (4,200 ppm)
A Santa Claus standing next to a Christmas tree candle set (3,590 ppm)
An elf figure (3,267 ppm)
A “Merry Christmas” trinket (2,833 ppm)
A candle holder with chicken design (2,707 ppm)
A moon-shaped “Santa Claus” trinket (2,404 ppm)