I was looking at some xmas light sets at the store and the box had a
warning. It said something to the extent that the wire insulation
contains LEAD, which is dangerous in California.
WTF....... How can the INSULATION contain lead? Yeah, I know the
copper wires are likely soldered to the sockets and possibly with lead
solder, and most light bulbs contain lead solder on the tip of the
base. (not these mini sets though). But how in the hell can the
plastic coating (insulation) contain lead? That would be a dangerous
condition and a shorting condition. I kid you not..... They used the
word insulation, or was it the coating of the wires. Either way, that
means the plastic part.
Of course, I dont live in California, so I dont have to worry about
lead..... In fact in my state it's considered a meal if some salt and
pepper is added... :) :) :)
I think CA is becoming a country within a country with all their laws
PVC in its natural state is hard. Wire insulation has plasticizers
and various heavy metal salts, often containing lead, are added to
degradation of the PVC or plasticizers (degradation seen in old,
wire that has been in the sun too long, or a cracking car dashboard).
Exposure amounts from this lead are extremely low. IBM found that
wiping a foot of wire insulation with sweaty hands could pick up 0.7 -
micrograms of lead compounds. The usual daily intake of lead from
diet and breathing, considered quite safe and normal, is up to 15
micrograms. (All plants contain some lead, as does airborne dust.)
So don't be chewing on wire (allegedly some electronics worker was
poisoned from such a habit. If you have a habit of chewing wire you
got problems other than lead poisoning, bud). Don't get too overly
nervous about it either. These California laws apparently take little
or no account of exposure amounts, and so we see fasteners made
from free-machining leaded brass with this warning. They are
extremely alarmist and non-scientific, and actually do harm, because
they dilute the impact of other warning labels by their ubiquity.
CA is truly the land of the fruit and the nuts. Blame their draconian
Prop. 65. If you do not disclose hazardous ingredients (according to
their lists) in your product there are potential tremendous fines and
bounty hunters that sniff your product and find something not listed
can turn you in for a cut of the fines. Prudent manufacturers will
disclose hazardous ingredients even if there is no exposure risk.
Like other responders wrote, as long as you're not chewing on these
things, don't worry.
I respectfully disagree: STUPID manufacturers would do so.
Intentionally avoiding sales to the world's 7th-largest economy (California)
as a form of protest against California's ridiculous labeling laws doesn't
make fiscal sense.
I, too, would support them - for as long as they're in business.
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