Christmas lights not only decorate shop windows in the run-up to Christmas, but also many homes. The environmental organization Global 2000 had eleven lamps from different manufacturers tested for toxic chemicals. They looked for substances such as plasticizers, heavy metals and chlorinated paraffins. “The result is partly frightening,” it said. Two products were said to be “illegal on the market” and a total of six were classified as contaminated.
DEHP, a plasticizer that has been banned in almost all products for more than two years, was found in the two lamps that were judged to be banned. “The results suggest that there is a higher risk of acquiring a ‘chemical bomb’ in cheaper stores with a lower quality range,” the testers found. The chain labeled “most dangerous” was bought at a one-euro shop, the other non-marketable at a discount store.
Exceeded the limit 84 times
DEHP can interfere with sexual maturation in children and is partly responsible for declining fertility in men. Still, the substance was found in concentrations up to 8.4 percent by weight, 84 times the limit, environmentalists said. “These results are especially concerning because DEHP has hormonal effects and even very small amounts are enough to cause major damage,” says Tassilo Nordmeyer of Global 2000. “Furthermore, plasticizers are only stored in the plastic and can therefore escape very easily. They constantly evaporate from the products and can be absorbed by us through the mouth, skin and respiratory tract.”
The tested substances are classified as substances of very high concern according to EU chemicals legislation. However, many of these substances are still allowed. At the same time, SVHCs are “reportable” under certain circumstances, meaning they must be communicated by companies, at least if you ask. The smartphone app “Scan4Chem” can help with this, and the environmentalists advise using it as much as possible, also to change manufacturers’ minds.
Two other light chains contain MCCPs (medium chain chlorinated paraffins) above the 0.1% weight limit, so they are subject to reporting, but legal to market. In two other products, ZZS were found below the limit value, DEHP and cadmium, and they may be sold legally and without an obligation to provide information. The remaining five Christmas lights were rated as not charged by the testers.
I am Wallace Jones, an experienced journalist. I specialize in writing for the world section of Today Times Live. With over a decade of experience, I have developed an eye for detail when it comes to reporting on local and global stories. My passion lies in uncovering the truth through my investigative skills and creating thought-provoking content that resonates with readers worldwide.