NEW YORK (WWTI) — New legislation will aim to protect New Yorkers from lead exposure this holiday season.

On November 30, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation S.05675/A.4522 into law which will require warning labels on Christmas lights and other holiday decorations that use lead-based electrical cord castings. According to Gov. Hochul, this will serve as a safety feature for statewide residents.

“As we decorate our homes for the holidays, New Yorkers shouldn’t have to worry about accidentally exposing children and loved ones to lead poisoning,” Governor Hochul said in a press release. “This legislation is a simple, common-sense way to keep New Yorkers safe as we participate in beloved holiday traditions. Let’s have a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.”  

According to the Governor’s Office, decorative and seasonal holiday lights have previously been shown to contain potentially unsafe levels of lead. Some studies have found that some brands contained over 30 times the levels regulators permit in children’s products.

The new legislation specifically defines seasonal and decorative lighting products as “SADLP.” Each product defined as SADLP that is manufactured sold or distributed in New York that has an electrical cord casting where lead is present must have a warning label.

This is required if lead is present in a quantity greater than 100 parts per million. The warning label must read: “Warning: Handling the coated electrical wire of this product may expose you to lead. Wash hands thoroughly after use.” 

The Governor’s Office confirmed that those who are found in violation of this requirement will be subject to a fine of $500.