Remember when we took a closer look at some of the products that asbestos could be found within throughout our history? In the past, asbestos fibers had been worked into 3,000-5,000 consumer products. It seems only fitting that we would find some of this toxic substance within vintage holiday decorations as well!
Most asbestos used in products was worked into cement, plastic, or textiles, and did not pose a large threat to consumer safety. Unless the product broke or wore down, the asbestos fibers were not released into the air and made available to breath in by those around it. In the case of fake snow made from the 1930s until World War II, though, chrysotile asbestos fibers in their natural state were used.
Chrysotile asbestos is one of six types of asbestos fibers found naturally within our earth. It is the most-used form of asbestos and can be found in abundance in countries like Canada and Russia. Chrysotile asbestos is white, fibrous, and resembles real snow. It was praised as a fire-retardant solution to the cotton “snow” originally available during the holiday season.
Different brands of fake snow made with chrysotile asbestos were used in movies, retail holiday displays, and private homes all over America. Luckily, most individuals only got a heavy dose of exposure during months of November and December, when holiday decorations were set out. Prolonged asbestos exposure is more likely to lead to seriously complications in time.
Do you remember playing with asbestos snow as a child? Tell us your story in a comment below!