Hazardous Christmas: decoration may contain chemicals that are harmful to health and environment

Christmas time – decoration time: many people like to arrange light chains, Christmas trees and balls in their house and garden in December. Did you ever wonder if the decorative products you buy may contain hazardous chemicals?

Christmas decoration containing hazardous chemicals

Our study  “The AskREACH Christmas-test” in 2019 found plasticizers in Christmas balls, artificial Christmas trees and light chains. Plasticizers are harmful to reproduction. What’s more, the decoration products also contained toxic flame-retardants and chlorinated paraffins that are harmful to the environment. We tested Christmas decoration products all across Europe and found hazardous chemicals in half of them.

The Right to Know

The good news is that consumers have the Right to Know whether a product contains substances that are harmful to human health or the environment. On request of a consumer, suppliers are obliged to provide information on these so-called “Substances of Very High Concern” (SVHCs). SVHCs can be carcinogenic, reprotoxic and mutagenic, they can be persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic, or very persistent and very bioaccumulative, or of a similar level of concern, such as endocrine disruptive. Time and time again, harmful chemicals are detected in products like children‘s toys, electronic articles, clothing and furniture.

Help to change!

With the Scan4chem app  you can scan the barcode of a product and ask companies about the presence of chemicals that can be harmful to human health and the environment. This way, it can help you to choose safer products. Download the app and send your requests. Use your consumer power and let companies know you care. Together we can make products safer!

The campaign has been created within the LIFE AskREACH project and will run in Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Sweden, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and other countries all over Europe. Follow the hashtag #ToxicFreeXmas on social media!

Feel free to join in and be part of this campaign!

If you want to receive further information about our Christmas activities contact: Liga Pakalna ( ), Baltic Environmental Forum Latvia.