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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering what you all use in place of Christmas light, and what you are decorating your tree with. We are going to make some ornaments (and phase out all the old made in china and painted stuff). I'm going to get some candles for the windowsills I guess....but what are you all using on your tree if you aren't using lights? Are the sparkly garlands ok? or are those problematic too?<br><br>
I feel wrong having the lights in my house with the kids touching them constantly and the lead being in them you know? seems hypocritical for me to get rid of all my painted and MIC toys to avoid lead only to knowingly put it in the house for decor...I've scoured the internet and can find nothing for lead free Christmas lights. I hung up a strand yesterday on our window and the kids love them but my momma gut is telling me to take them down, so I took them down. And all our Christmas stuff is handed down (mostly cheap MIC) junk. Its time to set a new trend, time to go natural for Christmas, but I'm needing ideas and inspiration. Help me out <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Someone must have some ingenious ideas for me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> We are getting a tree this weekend and I have a feeling this won't go over well with DH, we'll see. I may have to give in on the tree having lights but the rest of them will go outside where no one can touch them.<br><br>
edited to add: I called DH and he's surprisingly fine with it, we didn't discuss the tree but when I told him I didn't feel right about having lights in the house he said that was fine we could just hang some outside so the kids have some to see.....<br><br>
So is anyone else going light free? I feel like this is signing myself over completely to being seen as "the crazy hippie" not that I really care. And heck I'll do it if I'm the only one on the planet doing it. But I'm betting there are some others here. So come out, come out wherever you are <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> what are you using for decorations and bonus points if you happen to be waldorfy and have some kind of Christmas season ritual you can pass along <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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yep, we're going light-free this year! DD is 2 and LOVES lights of all kind, so I know it'd be too tempting for her to have them within reach. I'll miss the lights, but have decided to do a recycled/home-made/toddler-friendly 'theme' tree and figure not having lights is not only healthier for my toddler, but for the environment, too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> So, we're doing paper garlands from old wrapping paper, greeting cards, etc; cinnamon dough ornaments; paper doves (using a cookie cutter to trace) maybe a few knitted ornaments....<br><br>
The only thing I could think of as far as lights go, was to get those new <a href="http://www.gardeners.com/LED-Tea-Lights/default/20993.prd" target="_blank">LED tea lights</a> (they look like real candles) and somehow make a holder for them that could be hung on the tree. They are pretty $$ though, so not a tree full....plus, who knows...they probably have lead in them too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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I did not know lights had lead. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: I feel so dumb! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hopmad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hopping mad">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AngelBee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9845257"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I did not know lights had lead. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: I feel so dumb! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hopmad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hopping mad"></div>
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I didn't either. Sources?
 

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If you look on the outside of the box there is a warning about the lead in them (the one that CA requires on lead risks).<br><br>
I'm in deep poo, I used to put up Christmas lights on the outside of our local hospital when I was a teen. I wish I wouldn't have felt so invincible back then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yeah it says right on the lights, most have a tag, the ones that are too old to have a tag have it too though, from what I am reading everywhere there are no lead free Christmas lights anywhere :/
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>fek&fuzz</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9845492"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Is the lead ON the lights or INSIDE them?</div>
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from what I have been told its on the wires and sometime on the lights too. Supposedly most electric wires have lead in them.....but my kids don't touch regular stuff. They wont keep their hands off Christmas lights though.<br><br>
Just do a search in google for Christmas lights lead and you will pull up ALL kinds of stuff.
 

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LED lights have lead, too?<br><br><a href="http://www.idealbite.com/tiplibrary/archives/go_toward_the_led_light/" target="_blank">http://www.idealbite.com/tiplibrary/...the_led_light/</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamavegan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9846816"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">LED lights have lead, too?<br><br><a href="http://www.idealbite.com/tiplibrary/archives/go_toward_the_led_light/" target="_blank">http://www.idealbite.com/tiplibrary/...the_led_light/</a></div>
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supposedly yes, in the wiring. Thats what I keep reading anyway.
 

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ARen't there lead free light strands??? I don't think I can go light-free....
 

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The vinyl coating on <b>most</b> electrical wires... including extension cords, lamps, Christmas lights, your computer, etc may <i>contain a small amount of lead</i>. The wires themselves, inside, are copper.<br><br>
There is a brand of wire, greenspec, that is lead free:<br><a href="http://www.appliancemagazine.com/new_products.php?article=5354&zone=204&first=1" target="_blank">http://www.appliancemagazine.com/new...ne=204&first=1</a><br><br>
But 99% plus of what is out there (including the electrical wiring in your home) has lead in the insulated/protective coating.<br><br><a href="http://www.checnet.org/healthehouse/education/articles-detail.asp?Main_ID=700" target="_blank">http://www.checnet.org/healthehouse/...sp?Main_ID=700</a><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>beachbaby</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9843947"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><a href="http://www.gardeners.com/LED-Tea-Lights/default/20993.prd" target="_blank">LED tea lights</a> (they look like real candles) and somehow make a holder for them that could be hung on the tree.</div>
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By the way (sorry to mention this really) there is lots of lead solder INSIDE the tea lights. And the button batteries contain mercury.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SleeplessMommy;</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">By the way (sorry to mention this really) there is lots of lead solder INSIDE the tea lights. And the button batteries contain mercury.</div>
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I would imagine these are probably quite a bit safer than strands of lights. There may be lead solder inside but maybe not. In any case, it isn't as accessible to little hands as strands. The battery is lithium ion which contains no mercury or any other poisonous metals.<br><br>
But we're probably going to stick with beeswax candles that I make for lights <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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OMG, I feel so stupid. I spent the better part of the winter 2 years ago while pregnant trying to restrand the broken branches of our pre-lit Christmas tree. Why didn't I read the tags.<br><br>
How much exposure are we talking from these lights?
 

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My son does not mess with the lights but I keep an eye on him. Does just touching them create a problem though. It is unlikely that the kids are going to be chewing on them right?
 

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In the olden days, people put candles in the trees. But they also didn't have the tree inside the house and cold and snowy. It's a huge fire hazard.<br><br>
Last year we had a 2 year old, and she really didn't touch the lights at all. So I'm not going to worry about the lead in the wiring. I mean really, if there's lead in every wire anyway, and your child is chewing on the wires, you really have a bigger problem than lead poisoning. It's not like lead can be off gassed.<br><br>
And here's an article about it.<br><a href="http://www.theinquirer.net/en/inquirer/news/2004/12/30/consumers-warned-not-to-eat-mouse" target="_blank">http://www.theinquirer.net/en/inquir...t-to-eat-mouse</a><br><br>
So basically, almost anything made of pvc could have lead. Including those lovely pvc drinking water pipes in your house. But if you read this:<br><a href="http://home.scarlet.be/chlorophiles/en/en_pvc_add.html" target="_blank">http://home.scarlet.be/chlorophiles/en/en_pvc_add.html</a><br>
It would seem much better to get rid of your crystal glasses.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rlenk</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9859037"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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How much exposure are we talking from these lights?</div>
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The exposure is SMALL in most cases. The amount of lead varies by manufacturer.<br><br>
Not like Thomas the Tanks Engine where some kids put James in their mouth, or peeling lead paint where there is lead paint dust on the floor, and a baby is crawling around with fingers in mouth.<br><br>
By the way, blood lead testing is free at most public heath departments.<br><br>
And you are right, those are not the mercury-containing button batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
the exposure probably is slight IF kids aren't handling the lights. My kids touch them constantly, and you know how kids are, touch something and 5 seconds later their fingers are in their mouths. So I don't dare risk it. If my kids didn't touch the lights I might take that chance, but since I know they will I just can't do it.
 

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Lead is used as a plasticizer (sp?), to make the rubber coating on the wires harden. It's in all kinds of extention cords/electrical cords, not just C-mas lights.
 
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