Lots of people put up decorative lighting this time of year, and may not realize the potential hazards involved with the festivities.
Most electrical cords contain lead in the PVC insulation sheathing for fireproofing purposes. This includes Christmas lights and extension cords, which are frequently used this time of year. You'll now notice warnings on most brands of cords advising users to wash their hands after handling. Perhaps more worrisome is that children and pets also often come into contact with these items.
The safest bet is to go with lead-free cords, but these aren't yet as common, especially in the same variety of holiday lights.
Recently, lead caused a stir in the news when it was revealed how many products imported from China contained alarming amounts of the metal. Lead can cause cancer, birth defects, and reproductive harm in humans.
For more information on lead and lead poisoning, refer to this site: http://www.check4lead.com/tag/electrical-cords
Now that I've potentially scared the shit out of you, Happy Holidays!!