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#34618 - 02/17/04 12:30 PM Wash your hands after handling?  
C-H  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
Go to

and look at the bottom of the page.

Anyone care to explain?

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#34619 - 02/17/04 12:50 PM Re: Wash your hands after handling?  
Roger  Offline
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 1,716
Lead is going to be (or is already) the next asbestos. I saw this same note on something the other day but I can't remember what it was right now.


#34620 - 02/17/04 12:56 PM Re: Wash your hands after handling?  
SvenNYC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
I see that warning on holiday-light strings also. I don't quite understand why there is lead in vulcanized rubber or PVC plastic...but it's not really a "coating" of lead on the insulation itself.

The lead is IN the insulation is my understanding -- it is part of the plastic manufacturing it really won't leach out into your hands. Still it's a good idea to wash your hands before eating. [Linked Image]

#34621 - 02/17/04 03:18 PM Re: Wash your hands after handling?  
C-H  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
Ah. This might explain why the Swedish building cable says "Lead free". I thought it meant no lead shield (old cables had) but I now realise it must refer to the plastic itself.

#34622 - 02/17/04 03:52 PM Re: Wash your hands after handling?  
winnie  Offline
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 649
boston, ma
Lead is used as a stabilizer in some plastics.

As the plastic decays (weathering, mechanical wear, oxidation), the lead can be released onto the surface as a fine dust.

Usually this isn't a problem, but in some situations you can get lead dust levels that exceed regulatory maximums. One example _may_ be plastic mini-blinds, which have lots of surface area, and sit in sunny windows getting lots of daylight exposure.

Here is a discussion on lead in plastic toys. I won't say that it isn't biased; the company makes wood toys, but it provides decent background on the topic.


#34623 - 02/17/04 04:45 PM Re: Wash your hands after handling?  
cpalm1  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 66
don't worry, it will only affect you if you live in california [Linked Image]

I've seen this warning on a lot of holiday light strings lately, but never on an extension cord. I thought it had to do with using recycled plastic, and the posibility that the plastic had been in contact with lead in the past.

winnies post seems to be the best explanation. a long time ago i remember hearing something about lead and vinal blinds.

Im sure under normal circumstances, the amount of lead is so small that it doesn't stand a chance of harming you. the companny is just covering their asses against lawyers.

#34624 - 02/17/04 05:43 PM Re: Wash your hands after handling?  
electech  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 113
Northern Il
There was a recall on some blinds in the recent past because of lead. At the time, I ASSumed they must have been made from a lead alloy of some kind.

Here's a link:

#34625 - 02/18/04 10:25 AM Re: Wash your hands after handling?  
Attic Rat  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 524
Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
... Does this include Romex..? ? ?

.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"

#34626 - 02/18/04 06:58 PM Re: Wash your hands after handling?  
electure  Offline

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,260
Fullerton, CA USA
There's an urban legend (maybe a myth?) that I've heard in quite a few different places about an oldelectrician that used to chew a piece of TW insulation.
He'd strip off a piece in the morning, and chew on it all day (like gum, or a piece of straw).
"Legend" holds that he died of lead poisoning.
There may be more to this than myth...S

#34627 - 02/18/04 07:44 PM Re: Wash your hands after handling?  
Roger  Offline
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 1,716
Electure, with that thought in mind, I hope wing nuts aren't a lead hazard. [Linked Image]


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