We Finally Found Lead-free Christmas Lights

November 12, 2010 | 11 Comments

It is quite frustrating to find lead-free, RoHS compliant Christmas lights in the United States.

The RoHS symbol aims to restrict certain dangerous substances commonly used in electronic and electronic equipment. This symbol bans the placing (in the European Union market) of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants.

Although RoHS compliant electronics still may contain a very small amounts of lead, the maximum levels can not be more than 1000 ppm.  Lead and PVC is used in power cords because it makes the plastic more flexible so it doesn’t fray or break, to avoid risk of electrocution.

While it is easy to find RoHS compliant Christmas lights in Europe, it is almost impossible to find them clearly labeled in the US. I have contacted a few manufacturers and sellers in the US but the ones who got back to me don’t know what RoHS is and the others did not reply.

Most cords in the US may contain high amounts of lead, so you ALWAYS WANT TO KEEP THEM AWAY FROM CHILDREN! If you live in California, you will see that product manuals for your computer, TV, lamp etc. have following warning: “Handling the power cord on this product will expose you to lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. WASH HANDS AFTER HANDLING”.
 As far as I know, California is the only state that requires the warning label!

Here some guidelines on how to properly handle Christmas lights and cords:

  • Wear gloves, and only let adults handle.
  • Keep all lights at a high enough level that curious toddlers can not reach.
  • Wash hands after touching any Christmas lighting.
  • Be extra careful when you are out at relatives/friends houses. They may have lots of interesting lights in reach for your curious baby.
  • If you can’t hide power cords from children, you can wrap cords in cotton cloth.

Who is selling RoHS compliant Christmas Lights?

Swedish Furnishing Store IKEA is! Ikea was my last hope and I am happy to hear they comply with even stricter requirements then EU RoHS.

To my  question:

“I was wondering if you know if the Christmas lights sold in the US by Ikea are ROHS compliant.”

Ikea response was:

“Yes, IKEAs chemical requirements on electrical and electronic articles in based on EU RoHS and other countries chemical requirements, meaning our articles comply with even stricter requirements then EU RoHS.”


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Category: Holiday Safety

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  • ChristinaM

    Hey! Thanks so much for your info on Christmas trees and lights. I tried to look up the Ikea Christmas lights online and couldnt find them. What is the name of them? The Ikea product names are always wild. I really hope to get some here locally.
    THanks!
    ~Chrisitna

  • safbaby

    You’re welcome! I don’t know the names but I guess they’re only available in the Ikea stores.

    Happy Holidays!

    -Sandra

  • rebecca

    If you type in “light chain”, several kinds pop up on IKEA. This article makes me freak out about electrical cords. I can’t wrap all my cords in cotton cloth. Is there another solution, like wiping them off? If so, how often?

  • safbaby

    No, wiping off doesn’t remove the lead. You may just want to hide the cords, so your kids can’t touch them.

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  • Lisa

    http://www.environmentallights.com has them as well..i just ordered a bunch. they’re expensive but worth it since my little ones are always touching the tree.

  • http://www.naturalhomeandgarden.com/search.aspx?search=shelley%20moore shelley

    i ordered from environmental lights and then sent them back… i think it says on the website they are RoHs compliant, but on the product it doesn’t. I didn’t know if I could trust that. i found string lights on e-bay last year that are CE and RoHs and says so on the packaging. they don’t string together, but i feel this was a better choice. plus, environmental lights had to be sent back to two locations which was fine, i guess….. and then somehow the ball was dropped on my refund –finally got it, but I’m not a fan of environmental lights.

  • http://www.naturalhomeandgarden.com/search.aspx?search=shelley%20moore shelley

    well, received my first refund, but the 2nd that was coming to me fell through initially.

  • Isabella

    http://www.environmentallights.com/Lead-Free-LED-Christmas-Lights_C539.aspx and I called the company and they are indeed labeled as RoHS.

  • http://www.peekagreen.com Alexandra

    I was checking on the Ikea site and the light chains’ wires are made with PVC so probably contain lead!
    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50218662/
    So which Christmas lights Ikea was referring to?
    Thanks!
    Alex.

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