Greenpeace warns of carcinogenic sprays

The environmental protection organization Greenpeace has detected high concentrations of carcinogenic substances in several snow sprays. The sprays are a popular accessory for Christmas decoration. By spraying the artificial snow, a winter ambience is to be created. Even before the current Greenpeace investigation, however, there was suspicion that the artificial snow sprays may contain substances that are hazardous to health.

Based on the relevant information, Greenpeace has had six different snow spray products examined in the laboratory. The testers found high concentrations of carcinogenic substances in four of the six snow sprays. The proven ingredients are "banned in the EU because of their dangerousness," reports Greenpeace in a recent press release. In particular, "snow from the can poses an acute danger for children", the environmental protection organization continues.

Carcinogenic nitrosamines in snow spray products Greenpeace has detected the carcinogenic N-nitroso-morpholine in four snow spray products. This chemical belongs to the group of nitrosamines and is prohibited in the EU due to its carcinogenic effects. Greeenpeace said that concentrations of several hundred milligrams per kilogram were found in the contaminated products. According to the environmental protection organization, the pollution was highest in the snow spray of the Meyco Hobby brand. However, a similarly high concentration of the carcinogenic substances was detected in the snow spray from the manufacturer Goodmark. The loads in the products of Gerd Rodermund, Riffelmacher and Weinberger were somewhat lower, but here too the carcinogenic chemicals still reached concentrations that were hazardous to health. "Only in the snow sprays from Brauns-Heitmann and Solchim were no carcinogenic chemicals detected," said Greenpeace.

Greenpeace calls for toxic snow sprays to be removed from the market The Greenpeace expert for sustainable consumption, Jürgen Knirsch, emphasized: "Carcinogenic substances have lost nothing in household products" and it is particularly worrying when children are exposed to them. Greenpeace therefore asked the manufacturers and distributors of the snow sprays to remove the contaminated products from the market immediately. The environmental protection organization also pointed out that the sprayed snow is more contaminated than the product in its liquid state inside the can. So far, however, it remains unclear how the N-nitroso-morpholine gets into the snow spray products. This can already happen during production, only in the can or during the subsequent spraying. Unlike the snow sprays, the testers found no carcinogenic substances in the three ice crystal sprays that were also tested. Here the manufacturers are obliged to explain how the carcinogenic ingredients get into the snow spray products.

Manufacturers and authorities should check snow sprays more thoroughly According to the environmental protection organization, the potential health-endangering, toxic snow sprays should not be used. However, the other snow sprays should not be used indoors and should only be used outdoors where children do not come into contact with the sprayed snow, according to Greenpeace. The environmental protection organization explained, "The responsible Federal Office for Risk Assessment (BfR) has to comprehensively check and evaluate the snow and ice crystal sprays as well as other sprays used in the household." It cannot "be that the producers do not fulfill their responsibility and the authorities only inadequate check ”, says Greenpeace expert Knirsch. In general, it must be ensured that "carcinogenic substances never get into the hands of children." (Fp)

Picture: Günther Gumhold /

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