The dangerous history of tinsel

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The Dangerous History Of Tinsel

One of the most popular and simple symbols of Christmas decorations has a surprising history.

Tinsel was first invented in the 1600s but it wasn't cheap. Back then it was made from strands of silver, but over the next few centuries, manufacturers found ways to produce cheaper tinsel with aluminized paper.

But that idea was cut short when consumers discovered it was more of a ... fire hazard, than a decoration.

Then came lead. It didn't tarnish as quickly as silver. It was cheaper, and it didn't catch on fire next to hot tree lights.

But by the 1970s, researchers discovered that lead wasn't a good choice either, because it's particularly dangerous to kids...and having lots of poisonous shiny things around the house isn't going to make the holiday cheer last long.

So in 1972, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration put a stop to that production and manufacturers had to come up with new ingredients to sell the Christmas staple.

But the change was kept a secret. One official told The Associated Press the FDA didn't publicize it over fear "that many people preferring the lead variety would stockpile it."

Tinsel today is now made from a fire-friendly plastic...keeping your family and your home safe and shiny.

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The dangerous history of tinsel
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Greeley Grizwalds (Mike Medhurst)
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New Jersey (Rosa Fernandez)
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Arizona Christmas (Gerald Kubiak)
2014 Christmastime, New York (Doug McRoberts)
Christmas with the Kantner's in Pennsylvania (David Kantner)
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Harbor Hill House (Martin Fasack) 
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Maryland Christmas (Chris Meyd)
Christmas display with nativity scene (Rolando Ochoa)
Carrie's California Christmas house (Carrie Stewart Nolan)
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Mr. Bingle arrives to assist Santa! (Jacqueline Amundson)
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Kansas piece (Edward Adams) 
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Insanely bright holiday lights (Michael Mccall)
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Christmas in Kentucky (Jerel Schneider)
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Sleepy Hollow Home Seaside Ranchos (Vince Long)

Our New York House (Christina Aro)
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Mahoney House Florida (Michael Mahoney)
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Elegant look (Keith Ciecirski)
Over 18,000 lights (Jeffery Dowd)
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Sementa Christmas (Pat Sementa)

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Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas! (Diane Ladnier)
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Dmitriev Family Christmas in Tennessee (William Dmitriev)
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Martin, Ohio (Eric Moore)
Texas (Sue Darley)
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Christmas 2014 (L Benevides)
Christmas in North Carolina (Pete Menikos)
Halbach Christmas Decorations, Indianapolis (Larry Halbach)
Portilla Holiday Lights, California (Jacqueline Portilla)
Stanford Family Christmas in Florida (Linda Stanford)
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2014 Christmas with the Browns in Wake Forest (Tommy Brown)

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