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Decorative Lights Contain Harmful Substances, Experts Warn

Decorative Lights Contain Harmful Substances, Experts Warn

Thursday, 5 December, 2019 - 06:30
Christmas lights in Baltimore, Maryland. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Berlin - Asharq Al-Awsat
Decorative lights contain potentially harmful plasticizers whose concentrations exceed legal limits, said an environmental organization.

The Germany-based Friends of the Earth organization has recently assigned a laboratory to test four types of decorative lights to see if they contain harmful phthalates and chlorinated paraffins. The tested lamps were bought from online vendors.

"In three of four tested decorative lights, scientists found high concentrations, up to 27 percent, of these harmful substances," the organization said in a statement, noting that these quantities violate the EU law.

According to the German organization, plasticizers - chemicals added to plastic and other materials to promote plasticity and flexibility- could leak with time due to leaching, erosion, or washing, and can then be inhaled with dust at home.

The tests showed that these harmful materials have a hormone-like impact, and former studies associated them to many diseases and disorders including breast cancer, diabetes, asthma, obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as a lower IQ, lower sperm quality, and precocious puberty, the German News Agency reported.

The organization pointed out that these substances pollute the environment, and advised consumers to return the smelly plastic products to vendors, and to avoid the products made of polyvinyl chloride, and the cheap goods made of solid plastic.

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