During the festive spirit of the Christmas and holiday season, the last thing most of us want to do is think about negative things and worry about toxins.
That being said, it’s important to be aware of the risks that come with cheap Christmas and other holiday products, especially considering how often young children come into contact with them. Artificial Christmas trees, while not an obvious health concern to most people, contain hazardous plastics that may compromise human health with prolonged exposure. As many as 85% of them come from China according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, and these trees are often much more likely to contain harmful chemicals and materials.
Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to minimize the risk, and still enjoy the holidays to their fullest.
Artificial Trees From China: Made From Carcinogen, Toxins, and Lead
The needles on artificial trees are made from PVC. PVC is made from vinyl chloride, a known human carcinogen, which can also cause asthma and issues with the lungs because it releases dioxins into the air, according to National Health Institute. Dioxins exposure can lead to reproductive, and developmental issues.
Because PVC is a hard plastic, to make it soft like the Christmas tree needles, it is softened with phthalates.
Dozens of studies have come out recently linking phthalates to asthma, breast cancer, obesity, type II diabetes, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, reproductive issues, behavioral problems, neurodevelopmental issues and fertility problems, reported The Guardian.
When exposed to PVC by using products that are made from it (not only Christmas tress but also flooring, containers, toys, shoe soles, plastic bags, and many others) you exposed to dioxins, and phthalates, two groups of chemicals that have severe side health concerns, including increased autism and cancer risks.
To make matters worse, PVC is sometimes stabilized with lead, which can be inhaled, especially as the artificial Christmas tree gets older.
Artificial trees may also be made with fire retardants, which have many harmful health effects, especially to the reproductive system, hormones, thyroid function, and neurological development of children.
Because of these and other chemicals, it is highly recommended to purchase a fresh tree each year instead, for the health of everyone, especially children. And when possible, buy American or from a trusted company that uses high quality materials.
Most of Your Christmas Decorations Probably Came From China
The Environmental Working Group once published a children’s safety guide for the holidays, in which they urged the parents to get rid of old plastic trees. With age, fake trees release lead dust.
And because most trees are made in China, many trees contain lead levels that exceed U.S. safety standards.
A 2003 report in The Washington Post detailed the situation facing Chinese workers who crank out Christmas trees for big box stores in the United States :
“On the concrete floors of Zhang’s Shuitou Co. factory, migrant workers, most earning about $100 a month, squat in front of hissing machinery as they melt chips into moldable plastic, pulling levers by hand to squeeze out Christmas tree ornaments,” the article details. “A woman sits barefoot on an empty packing tube, knife in hand, shaving extra bits of plastic from the finished products before depositing them in an oil drum.”
Two dozen men feed spools of green plastic into a machine that stretches it along a conveyor, creases it onto a wire, then slices both sides into fringes, yielding branches for artificial Christmas trees. Other men fuse the branches together, jamming them with their bare hands into the center of a spinning rotor.
The article continues:
“Few of these goods will land in homes within predominantly Buddhist China, a fact underscored by the shrine to local spirits tucked into the corner of the factory, sticks of incense standing upright in a ceramic bowl beneath red neon lights…The products will be boxed and trucked to a nearby port, then shipped to points around the globe — the United States, Europe, Japan, Latin America and Africa.”
According to the article, a nearly equal percentage of Christmas lights, ornaments and wreaths also come from China.
If you want to still use an artificial tree, there are a few things to do to minimize the risks:
- Keep children away from touching the tree too much
- Wear gloves when assembling the tree
- Wash your hands thoroughly after touching the tree
- Keep the gifts away from the tree if possible
- Get a tree made from a safer type of plastic
- Damp mop or clean under the tree regularly
- Do not keep an artificial tree for more than nine years
Are PE Plastic Christmas Tree Better?
In the last decade a new type of artificial tree became popular, with many wondering if it is safer. The tree is said to be made from PE plastic or polyethylene, but in reality most manufacturers still use PVC mixed with PE. But if you come across pure PE tree, it is slightly better, because it does not need lead to be stabilized. However, it is still a plastic with similar health hazards.
And while some companies claim it is recyclable, most trees are made from different materials, including wooden and metal parts, making it nearly impossible to recycle.
Pros and Cons of a Real Christmas Tree
There are arguments that a real Christmas tree is safer for health, however, real trees also come with possible health effects to consider.
Pine trees contain aromatic chemicals that can cause respiratory problems to some (although others say they help clear sinuses; this is a matter of personal preference as to how you may react). Fir and spruce trees, however, are said to be less irritating.
Besides choosing the type of the tree, it is important to ask what chemicals have been used on it. Many real Christmas trees are full of pesticides linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, asthma, and other serious conditions. Instead, choose an organic, pesticide-free tree when shopping this season if possible.
Find an Organic Christmas Tree
Some people also choose to buy a living tree with the roots attached, and planting it after the holidays in the backyard. A living tree can also be rented.
What’s Better for The Environment?
Real trees are also considered to be the most environmentally friendly, according to recent research, but are they best for the environment?
Real trees usually require a lot of pesticides and fertilizers to grow, and are often sprayed with chemicals to keep fresh.
Fake trees are made from plastics that are toxic to produce, not to mention the coal emissions from the factories producing them.
Both real trees and artificial trees require energy to be transported; however, the majority of fake trees require more energy to ship all the way from China.
The study concluded that you would need to use an artificial tree for 20 years, before its environmental footprint becomes equal to one real tree. (An artificial tree is not recommended for use after 9 years, as it created dangerous lead exposures).
Lastly, fake trees cannot be recycled, but a real Christmas tree can be recycled at curbside at regular pickup times.
Whether it is for your health or the environment, a real Christmas tree wins in both cases, and many appreciate it more for its scent. Just be careful not to step on those pine needles.
A quick note from our founder-
20 Million Americans Have A Thyroid Condition
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AND... Women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to have thyroid problems.
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I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
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d) Hip Flexors
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To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
...suffocating tissue, restricting blood flow, damaging joints and infecting your healthy cells.
Shockingly, that nightmare is a reality for most:
64% of women and 74% of men carry too much body fat according to the National Institutes of Health.
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But here's the worst part:
For most, this bodyfat has become "calorie-resistant":
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This zombie fat is essentially... "dead tissue".
That's important for those who have 10, 25 or 50 or more pounds to lose...
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This allows your metabolism to burn it as calories and re-energize your entire body.
First though, here's the #1 reason why bodyfat becomes calorie-resistant:
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All this means one thing:
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The discovery of this "metabolic jumper cable" can now reverse this process:
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In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
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Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
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Secret #2: stop eating out. You will automatically eat less without even noticing.
Then start detoxing your body with tasty, nourishing smoothies that are just as easy on your wallet as they are easy to make.
Because a single day of enjoying Liz’ smoothies demonstrated the radical power of her superfood-packed red smoothies to make me feel incredibly good.
Now prepare yourself for one of the biggest weight loss secrets there is. A secret that, when you use it properly, can transform your body and your health.
You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
Watch Liz’ free presentation. It’s packed with revolutionary weight loss information—information that works. Because it’s based on how nature.
Click the button only if you want to wear smaller clothes, breathe easier, move more freely and just plain feel better.
- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
- The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
- And the superfoods that rescue your body from this assault by detoxing you…
Revitalizing your metabolism so you can Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.
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Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.