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USA: New York passes law to eliminate lead exposure from Christmas and holiday lights

DECEMBER 2021 -  ELECTRICALS AND ELECTRONICS 

On 30 November 2021, New York Governor signed a legislation1 aiming to protect citizens from lead exposure from Christmas lights and other holiday decorations. Any manufacturer who violates this legislation will be subject to a fine.

 

Seasonal and decorative lighting products are defined as portable, plug-connected, temporary use lighting products and accessories that have a nominal 120-volt input voltage rating. Lighting products within the scope are factory-assembled with “push-in, midget or miniature screw base lamp holders connected in series or parallel, directly across the 120-volt input”. These products may include decorative lighting such as wired holiday string lights, pre-lit artificial Christmas trees, plants, flowers or wreaths, stockings, stars, candles and light sculptures, among others.

 

On each such lighting product that is manufactured, sold or distributed in New York State that has an electrical cord casing in which lead is present in a quantity greater than 100 parts per million (ppm) must have a warning label. The warning label must contain the statement: "WARNING: HANDLING THE COATED ELECTRICAL WIRE OF THIS PRODUCT MAY EXPOSE YOU TO LEAD. WASH HANDS THOROUGHLY AFTER USE."

 

According to the Governor’s Office2, decorative and seasonal holiday lights have been shown to contain potentially unsafe levels of lead. Some studies have found that some brands contained over 30 times the levels regulators permit in children’s products.

 

[1]  S.05675/A.4522

[2]  Press from Governor's Office

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