Is Your Artificial Christmas Tree Making You Sick? - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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Is Your Artificial Christmas Tree Making You Sick?

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

'Tis the season for sickness with many people coming down with the cold or flu. But did you know some of your Christmas decorations could also make you sick?

People buy fake Christmas trees for all sorts of reasons, but just how safe are they? Sometimes it can depend on what kind you buy.

Most artificial trees contain a chemical known as polyvinyl chloride or PVC. It's also used in pipes, toys, and car interiors. While the "American Christmas Tree Association says PVC is not harmful, some experts disagree.

In some cases, PVC can contain phthalates, which have been shown to lower testosterone in lab animals and humans.

The most important way to protect your family is to buy a tree that is labeled PVC-free. Also, if you put some of grandma's old ornaments on the tree, listen up. Some of those older decorations may contain lead paint.

Studies have linked lead exposure to high blood pressure, infertility, and lower IQ in children.

Doctors say it's important you use decorations without lead-based paint. As the CDC puts it, there is no safe level of lead exposure.

Also, check your Christmas lights. Past research has shown those also have detectable amounts of lead.

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