Due to electrical cord casings for decorative and seasonal lights often being made with polyvinyl chloride, using lead as a fire-retardant and stabilizer, this bill requires that such products carry a warning label to alert consumers of potential exposure.
Such warnings are important as a warning label allows individuals to minimize their exposure to this neurotoxin, especially since there is no safe blood level concentration of lead. For example, upon seeing such a warning, a parent may choose to keep the wires off of the ground and make sure they are inaccessible to children. Children are especially vulnerable as their brains and nervous systems are not yet fully developed, and their hand to mouth behavior provides an additional pathway for exposure.
According to the report New York State’s Children and the Environment, by the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai, lead exposure can cause arrested developmental processes in the brain, learning disabilities, shortened attention spans, and loss of intelligence in children.
This bill amends the Public Health Law and requires that any decorative lights containing lead as a fire-retardant carry a warning label. The label must notify the consumer that the product contains lead and advise the consumer to thoroughly wash hands after handling the product.