Vintage Christmas decorations could contain asbestos, experts warn

18th December 2014

Brits could be spreading asbestos particles throughout their home simply by putting up vintage Christmas decorations, the UK Asbestos Training Association has warned.

Fake snow used in the 1940s was often created using pure asbestos, so any decorations containing the white powder could be putting people’s health at risk. Manufacturers of baubles, wreaths and statues made in the 1930s and 40s often used fake snow in their products. Fake snow only stopped being produced once the Second World War began, as the material was needed to insulate ships and aircrafts, reports telegraph.co.uk.

Brits are being advised to throw out any old decorations that may contain fake snow. Craig Evans, manager of the UK Asbestos Training Association, said many people may have no idea they’re running the risk of exposing themselves to asbestos every Christmas.

“Anyone who thinks they have asbestos-laced decorations should contact their local authority which can advise on how to dispose of them in the proper way,” he stated. “Asbestos in Christmas decorations is not something many people will be thinking of this festive season but it’s a very serious danger that should not be underestimated.”

Asbestos can cause mesothelioma, a type of cancer which is incurable at present. Around 2,500 people in the UK are diagnosed with the illness every year, reports mirror.co.uk.