Lead Danger In Christmas Lights

A string or two of Christmas lights can make any tree more festive.

Did you know that many of them come with a warning about lead?

That warning tells you that handling the lights can expose you to lead, known to cause birth defects.

In a typical string of lights, the lead is in the wires, not the bulbs.

The lead levels are within legal limits.

But, doctors say people should still be cautious because the wires will shed a lead dust. "Make sure that young children don't play under the tree because that's where the dust can settle after it falls off the lights. Children obviously shouldn't chew or gnaw on the lights either," Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor of Hartford Hospital says.

Doctors encourage people who touch holiday lights to wash their hands afterward.

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