Study shines light on lead content in Christmas lights
A new study posted from product information company The Ecology Center indicates four out of five popular brands of Christmas lights contain lead, with 54% having greater levels than permitted in children’s products, according to Bloomberg News.
The study also showed 28% of the 68 products tested showed higher levels of lead than the 1,000 parts per million allowable in Europe for electronics.
Currently, the Consumer Products Safety Commission’s standard for lead in children’s products is 300 ppm, but is scheduled to drop by 100 ppm next year.
According to the article, a CPSC spokesperson pointed out that Christmas lights aren’t intended as children’s products, and parents shouldn’t allow their children to handle them.
The lead is used to stabilize the casing to provide adaquate heat shielding, according to the article.
Eco-standards updated for kitchen and bath cabinets
The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA), a Reston, Va.-based trade organization for manufacturers of kitchen cabinets, bath vanities, decorative laminate products, has revised the criteria for companies to attain certification under the association’s Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP).
Under the new standards, effective Jan. 1, 2011, the use of CARB ATCM compliant low formaldehyde emitting particleboard, hardwood plywood and MDF panel products is mandatory.
In addition, the updated standards encourage the use of solid wood and plywood products certified through a recognized sustainable forestry program by doubling the possible points. Companies who offer chain-of-custody sustainable forestry certification on at least one line of cabinetry earn additional points.
Currently over 140 companies or brands are ESP certified by the association. To gain certification, applicants must earn points in each of five ESP categories: Air Quality, Product Resource Management, Process Resource Management, Environmental Stewardship and Community Relations.
KCMA ESP certified cabinets can be identified by the ESP seal, located on sink base and vanity base of all certified lines. To obtain a complete list of ESP certified manufacturers and learn more about the program, visit www.greencabinetsource.org.