For many years now, vintage clothing has been in fashion and over recent years vintage homeware, including Christmas decorations, have also become popular. However, these pretty trinkets from yesteryear could carry a silent killer.
Most people these days are aware of the dangers of asbestos and that it was widely used in the construction industry due to its fire retardant and insulation properties. What people may not know is that asbestos was also used in Christmas decorations.
In the 1930s and 1940s, asbestos was used to make fake snow which was then used to decorate baubles, trees and wreaths. In many cases, pure asbestos was used. The trend in purchasing vintage Christmas decorations means that people may unknowingly be bringing deadly asbestos into their homes.
Asbestos was used for decorations until the outbreak of the Second World War when it was used extensively to insulate ships and aircraft. There is now a worry that many decorations still exist and could pose a danger to people using them in their homes.
It is not only decorations containing asbestos that are cause for concern, it is estimated that there are approximately 1.5million houses in the UK still containing asbestos. Asbestos is only harmful when the fibres are loose or released into the air. Many people keep store Christmas decorations in the attic, where asbestos insulation may be present and could be disturbed.
Asbestos is extremely dangerous and even very light exposure to asbestos can lead to someone developing mesothelioma, an incurable asbestos related cancer. Therefore, it is vital that anyone who thinks they may have asbestos Christmas decorations, disposes of them responsibly. Their local authority should be able to assist in providing guidance on this.
If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestos claim please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.