WARNING: Artificial Trees Can Cause Cancer

IMG_5627It’s that time of year again, time to set up your artificial tree or go cut one down from a tree farm. I’ve always had fake trees but the last few year my boyfriend and I have been making yearly trips to a local tree farm. We get the kids and my dogs into the truck and headed over to Wilberts Christmas Trees. Originally the trees were planted by Art Wilbert over 50 years ago for screening and environmental reasons but now because of large popularity Wilbert’s Christmas tree farm they have been selling trees for 37 years.

The question remains, is it better to have a real or fake tree?

I personally prefer the real trees. There are a few down sides to getting a real tree. It typically costs more money because you would have to buy a new tree every year and there is a lot more maintenance involved as well. You have to constantly give it water everyday and clean up those pesky needles that fall all over the floor. The upside is that you have a real tree with the smell of pine, the outdoors in your home and when you’re done with it the tree can be recycled back into the ground and not tossed into a landfill.

Some people believe that owning a fake tree is better because cutting down thousands and thousands of real trees is bad for the environment. They also say that other countries might count on the income of making and selling the fake trees. On the other hand I’ve read that the ingredients that are used to create a fake trees are harmful and can lead to Cancer. Some of the articles I found said that fake trees are known to have several carcinogens, including dioxin, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride used in the production of PVC. Also fake trees contain lead and other additives designed to make the otherwise rigid PVC more malleable. Unfortunately many of these additives have been linked to liver, kidney, neurological and reproductive system damage in lab studies on animals.

The Children’s Health Environmental Coalition warns that fake trees “may shed lead-laced dust, which may cover branches or shower gifts and the floor below the tree.” So the next time you go out to buy an artificial tree, read the warning label, which will probably tell you to avoid inhaling any dust or parts that may come loose.

Still want to buy a fake tree?

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