“Mama C” sent me the above two sample branches from her artificial Christmas tree this year. It’s a GE pre-lit Just Cut medium Frasier fir “ConstantOn” tree. She said she purchased it at Home Depot (c. 2016). Below are the additional photos she sent me of the original box and the tree installed in her home:
When tested with an XRF instrument the two branch samples Mama C sent me were Lead-free (they were also non-detect for other toxicants, including Cadmium, Mercury and Arsenic), although one of the two samples had a fairly high level of Antimony (which is commonly used as a component of fire retardants.)
Here’s my Amazon affiliate link* to this exact tree (it looks like the Home Depot price is much better, based on the sticker on the box in Mama C’s photo!) LINK.
In general this seems like a better choice than some of the others out there. It is also the second Home-Depot purchased tree that I have tested that turned out to be Lead-Free.
I also want to clearly state that since she could not cut a piece of the lighting to send to me (without ruining the tree!) these tests do not include the electrical cord of the lighting BUT the other Home Depot tree that I tested was tested “in place” (set up in someone’s home) and the integrated wiring components that I tested were also negative for Lead. I will be posting that information shortly as well.
Click here to see more artificial Christmas trees I have tested. Many older artificial trees do have unsafe levels of Lead and I always advise thorough hand washing (and possibly the use of gloves) when setting them up (in the absence of testing.)
The exact XRF test results for the branches pictured here were as follows (with each test done for at least 60 seconds.)
Harder plastic type tree branch (image below):
- Barium (Ba): 607 +/- 153 ppm
- Antimony (Sb): 3,228 +/- 76 ppm
- Bromine (Br): 13,200 +/- 200 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 391 +/- 38 ppm
- Vanadium (V): 740 +/- 192 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 948 +/- 275 ppm
- If a metal is not listed it was not detected.
Continue reading below images.
Wispy softer type branch (image below):
- Bromine (Br): 12 +/- 3 ppm
- Tin (Sn): 171 +/- 14 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 2,556 +/- 130 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 2,642 +/- 1,145 pm
Continue reading below images.
Even though this tree is Lead-free, given the level of Antimony I would still encourage hand-washing (and possible use of disposable gloves) when setting up and taking it down (and would also discourage children from playing with – or close to – the tree.)
Pretty much any modern plug-in appliance (and this would be considered in this category) that I have tested has been positive for a fairly high level of Antimony. The Antimony is usually just in the electrical cords, but with these artificial trees it is in the branches as well.
Occupational levels of exposure to Antimony have been shown to be a possible carcinogen in rats (click the image below for more information).
While this is possibly a safer choice than a tree with high levels of Lead, I would still encourage (whenever possible) using a live potted plant instead of a cut real Christmas tree or faux Christmas tree. Alternately this wooden reusable tree looks like a terrific idea as well (Link) but I would try to find one NOT made of recycled wood (because that could be contaminated with Lead as well.)
As always thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Sarah D says
Great news! The tree you saw in person, were you able to test the pole? I have read that even if the tree limbs are pvc free, they still wrap the tree with PVC. I was in contact with Aleko about what trees were PE and not PVC and asked about lead and flame retardant ..they claim they don’t have either, but after I read about the pvc wrap, I wrote them and one of their reps said they do have a pvc wrap. So this kind of makes me think aleko is not truly lead free
I didn’t test the pole, sorry!
Heather S. says
Hi, the link for the reusable wooden tree goes to the Light Shop but doesn’t show the tree. Their page says, “Welcome to our new Site! The Page you’re looking for from our old Site has probably moved or been retired for a new page on this Site…” I searched for trees there and did not see any. Do you recommend any others? Just wanted to let you know. 🙂
I will check that out and see if I can find a new link. Thank you!
Linda Harlan says
Can you tell me why you don’t recommend a real tree? We live in the woods so we have lots of trees and they need to be thinned out .