You ready to hang decorations, host parties, and exchange gifts? You may want to wait before you deck your halls with beaded garland. Our friends at Healthy Stuff in Ann Arbor recently conducted tests on beads commonly used as Christmas garland and Mardi Gras beads. “We estimate that a single year’s inventory of Mardi Gras beads may contain up to 900,000 pounds of hazardous flame retardants and 10,000 pounds of lead,” said Jeff Gearhart, the Ecology Center’s principle researcher.
The first story I heard on the news Monday evening was about the stir caused by safety testing one of this season’s “it” toys – a certain kind of stuffed hamster. A consumer advocacy group had found the toy contained levels of an element called antimony that exceed government standards but then conceded that its testing method did not match that of government testers. To assure the public of the toy’s safety, the manufacturer has now released its testing report.