In recent years, snowglobes have enjoyed a resurgence. You find them in all shapes and sizes, from simple and small to ornate and elegant. Contemporary artists have even embraced the medium, creating one of a kind collectible pieces.
|photo: Kate Fries (saiberiac)|
Snowglobes seem to be especially popular at this time of year, with winterscapes and holiday themes featured inside their domes.
But be warned!
The mechanism used to make snowflakes appear to float gracefully inside a snowglobe is often one of two chemicals: glycerin or glycol. These liquids add viscosity – or fluid friction – to the water inside the globe, thus causing the “snow” to fall more slowly to the bottom.
Many imported snowglobes, specifically ones from China, contain Ethylene Glycol, also known as antifreeze.
This can be deadly to your pet.
Adverse effects can occur when an amazingly small quantity is ingested. If you suspect ingestion of any amount, seek medical help immediately (and we do mean immediately!)
Click here to read our post about what amounts are considered lethal, and how very deadly antifreeze can be.
Good news: for the past ten years or so, U.S. manufacturers have been careful to fill their globes with safer alternatives. But...this applies only to globes manufactured in the U.S.
Be careful: many U.S. companies might design the globe in the U.S., but the piece is actually made in China. So we recommend when shopping for snowglobes, avoid those made in China, Hong Kong or similar countries.
And when in doubt, consider reaching out to the manufacturer to find out exactly what liquids they use inside, and where their globes are made.
Or consider buying a snowglobe that doesn't rely on viscosity any more – some use small, built-in motors to circulate the snow!
We wish you an enjoyable – and safe – holiday season.
VPI Health Zone
Humane Society of the U.S.
Don't forget! You have until noon this Friday, December 6, to enter one of our two giveaways!
Both giveaways are filled with fun, cat-specific items donated by the sponsors of the 2013 Cat Writers' Association Conference!