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Christmas Decorations And Asbestos

Christmas Decorations And Asbestos

For several, vintage clothing has been in fashion and over recent years vintage homeware, including Christmas decorations, have also become popular. However, these decorations from days of yore may carry a silent killer.

Most people know of the dangers of asbestos and that it was widely used in the construction industry due to its fire retardant and insulation properties. What people may not know is that asbestos was also used in Christmas decorations.

In the 1930s and 1940s, asbestos was used to make fake snow which was then used to decorate baubles, trees and wreaths. In many cases, pure asbestos was used. The trend in purchasing vintage Christmas decorations means that people may unknowingly be bringing deadly asbestos into their homes.

Asbestos was used for decorations until the outbreak of the Second World War when it was used extensively to insulate ships and aircraft. There is now a worry that many decorations still exist and could pose a danger to people using them in their homes.

It is not only decorations containing asbestos that are cause for concern, there are still many houses in the US containing asbestos. Asbestos is only harmful when the fibers are loose or released into the air. Many people keep store Christmas decorations in the attic, where asbestos insulation may be present.

Asbestos is extremely dangerous and even very light exposure to asbestos can lead to someone developing mesothelioma, an incurable asbestos related cancer. Therefore, it is vital that anyone who thinks they may have asbestos Christmas decorations, disposes of them responsibly.


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The Asbestos Institute is not the official authority to determine OSHA training requirements, which are set forth in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA regulations are always being revised, added, and/or deleted, so you must not rely on The Asbestos Institute as the official authority of OSHA asbestos training requirements. Visit the official OSHA Asbestos Training Requirements page here.

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