They are made with polyvinyl chloride (or PVC, otherwise known as vinyl), one of the most environmentally offensive forms of non-renewable, petroleum-derived plastic.
Furthermore, several known carcinogens, including dioxin, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride, are generated during the production of PVC, polluting neighborhoods located near factory sites.
In addition to PVC, fake trees contain lead and other additives designed to make the otherwise rigid PVC more malleable. Unfortunately, many of these additives have been linked to liver, kidney, neurological and reproductive system damage in lab studies on animals.
The potential for lead poisoning is great enough that fake trees made in China are required by California Prop 65 to have a warning label.
Once that tree is sent to the landfill, it will stay there forever because artificial trees are not recyclable nor are they biodegradable.
Artificial tree purchases take away from the budgets of local tree farms from around the state. Buying Christmas trees helps the local economy.