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Five Indisputable Facts About How Sick We’re Making Santa

Every Christmas Eve for at least 200 years, we have come to expect the kindest, jolliest, and most magical elf to bring gifts from the North Pole to all the good girls and boys. He has yet to let us down, but we have reason to believe Santa’s end may be nigh?

By our calculations, Santa has been exposed to more asbestos than any person or elf in history. If Santa has been exposed to as much asbestos as we believe he has, then we need to begin making preparations for Christmas without him. We have done the math, and below are five absolutely indisputable facts proving Santa is sick and we are to blame:

1) He has Definitely Been Exposed

But since asbestos has been banned since the 70’s, maybe it’s not that bad, right? Comfort ye, not. The damage to Santa’s lungs began back when real people were hunting buffalo on the real Oregon Trail.

Due to its fireproofing properties, Asbestos became an increasingly popular building product from the 1800’s through the middle 20th century, before it was widely banned in 1980. This means Saint Nick had plenty of time to collect enough asbestos for his lungs to look like popcorn ceiling.


Sliding down chimneys with asbestos-laden flues, down onto asbestos-packed fireplace tiles, being covered in asbestos-laced artificial ash and embers, Santa had no idea he was being slowly poisoned by our homes. If he isn’t already suffering from asbestos-related symptoms, it means his latency period is over 400% longer than the average adult male (48 years). Saint Nick is truly remarkable, but even magical lungs must eventually succumb to this kind of relentless beating.

It takes very little exposure to asbestos for it to become a health risk. Saint Nick has been exposed millions of times each year for almost two centuries.

We wanted to know who the biggest offenders of the yule-crime against Santa Claus. Wouldn’t you know, it’s our “neighbors” across the pond(s).

2) If Anyone’s to Blame; it’s the Brits (and the Aussies)

British people are known for two things: 1) poor dental hygiene and 2) exposing Father Christmas to asbestos. To this day, 50% of homes in the United Kingdom contain asbestos. Do they not have the internet over there yet? Asbestos is bloody bad, y’all!

We have done the math. Santa’s first gift-giving trek was recorded in the early 1820s. Since then, he has been exposed to asbestos at least 1.17 billion times, in the UK alone.

See below for a more thorough explanation of our calculations.1

Worse yet, their Kangaroo-riding cousins to the south have more asbestos in their homes than Santa has elves. At one point in the 20th century, two-thirds of homes in Australia contained asbestos. That’s enough asbestos exposure to turn Santa’s lungs into something resembling a bloomin’ onion.

If Tim Allen’s The Santa Claus is right that whoever knocks off the jolly old gift-giver gets his job, we can probably figure the next iteration of Santa will look like a cross between Mr. Bean and Crocodile Dundee.


“That’s not a list. THIS is a list.”

But what about future generations of reindeer and elves? That’s right, Santa has definitely, albeit unwittingly, exposed his reindeer and workers to asbestos

3) Rudolph’s Red Nose is Due to Respiratory Problems Related to Asbestos Exposure

One does not have to be exposed to asbestos at its source to be effected by it. Santa’s clothing, tarnished with ashes and soot from fireplaces and chimneys across the world, has tragically exposed the reindeer and elves to asbestos as well. Have you ever wondered why Santa needs nine reindeer to fly his magical sleigh? It’s because they’re sick and weak. Look at these depictions of Santa in the 19th century.


He had two reindeer, then he had four reindeer, and now he needs nine. We believe it’s all connected to asbestos. Think about little Rudolph? His iconic red nose that led to so much childhood anguish is most likely due to respiratory issues related to asbestos. Sure the kid went down in history, but at what cost?

And the elves. How are their little bodies fairing against the harmful effects of asbestos? The fact is, we did this to them, and we should have known better.

4) We Should Have Known Better

Sure, we would all love to blame the Brits for ruining Christmas, but all humanity is at fault and without excuse. Even as the use of asbestos increased through the middle part of the 20th century, so too did awareness of its catastrophic effects. We grant you that it was not until the late 70’s and early 80’s that bans on asbestos became widespread, but that was 35 years ago. Do you know what’s happened in 35 years?

  •         The internet
  •         The rise of hip hop
  •         TVs have become flat
  •         Google
  •         Self-driving cars

Yet, in the same amount of time, we have not removed the asbestos from our homes and hearths. Santa understands – he’s not known for getting much done in a short amount of time either. However, we are running out of excuses, and Santa is running out of time.

5) Save Santa Now

Asbestos exposure happens when products containing it are damaged and disturbed. Gas fireplaces with artificial ash and embers in homes built before 1980 are often the biggest offenders for exposing Santa and his merry crew. However, he has also unwittingly breathed in asbestos from broken flue pipes in chimneys and damaged protective barriers in and around fireplaces.


One way you can help Santa is to have your home tested for the presence of asbestos is it was built in the 1980’s or earlier, especially if you are considering a renovation project or you’re thinking about removing that popcorn ceiling. Whatever you do, do not attempt to remove asbestos-products yourself (that will land you on Santa’s naughty list). Finally, sign up to save Santa and we will provide you with tips and tricks to make the world safer for Saint Nick. Otherwise, it’s time we start preparing our eulogies for jolly ol’ Kris Kringle.



Calculating the number of times Santa has been exposed to asbestos in the UK

As of the 2011 census, the population of the United Kingdom was 63,181,775. The number of households in the UK in 2011 was 26,473,000. There are approximately 2.38 persons per household, down from 5.5 in 1801.

Persons per household in UK 1801-2001 (millions)
1801: 5.5
1851: 5.4
1901: 4.8
1951: 3.6
2001: 2.3

Occupied Dwellings (millions)
1801: 2.1
1851: 4.1
1901: 8
1951: 14.2
2001: 25.4
2011: 26.47

From 1801 to 1850 the number of dwellings increased 95%, or an approximate average of 20% (19%) per decade. Based on these findings calculated the number of dwellings to which Santa delivered gifts in 1820 would have been 2.9 million. The first recorded evidence of Santa’s yearly journey date back to the early 1820s.

The formula for calculating number of homes per decade wherein Santa would have been exposed to asbestos from 1820 to 1830:
C=10(A + B(A*.19))/2
A=# of Homes in 1801
B=# of Decades since 1801
C=# of Houses visited from 1821 to 1830

Based on this formula we can estimate the number of homes Santa visited
X=(10(2.1 + 2(2.1*.19)) + 10(2.1 + 3(2.1*.19)) + 10(2.1 + 4(2.1*.19)))/2
X=28.98 + 32.97 + 36.96
Santa was exposed to asbestos approximately 49,500,000 times from 1821 to 1850 in the UK.

From 1851 to 1900:
1851 to 1860: (4.1 x 10)/2 =20.5 million

19% increase

1861 to 1870:
C=10(A + B(A*19))/2 10(4.1 + 1(4.1*.19)/2
A=# of Homes in 1861
B=# of Decades since 1851
C=# of Houses visited from 1851 to 1861 (24.5 million)

1871 to 1900:
X=(10(4.1 + 2(4.1*.19)) + (10(4.1 + 3(4.1*.19)) + (10(4.1 + 4(4.1*.19)))/2
56.58 + 64.37 + 72.16 = 193,311,000/2
96,500,000 + 45,000,000 =
Santa was exposed to approximately 141,500,000 times from 1851 to 1900

1901 to 1950
1901 to 1910 = (8 x 10)/2=40 million

15.5% Increase

1911 to 1950
X=10(8 + 1(8*.155)) + 10(8 + 2(8*.155)) + 10(8 + 3(8*.155)) + + 10(8 + 4(8*.155))
(92.4 + 104.8 + 117.2 + 129.6)/2=222
222,000,000 + 40,000,000 =
Santa was exposed to approximately 262,000,000 times from 1901 to 1950

1951 to 2000

1951 to 1960 = (14.2 x 10)/2=71 million

15.7% increase

1961 to 2000
X=10(14.2 + 1(14.2*.157)) + 10(14.2 + 2(14.2*.157)) + 10(14.2 + 3(14.2*.157)) + 10(14.2 + 4(14.2*.157))
(164.3 + 186.5 + 208.9 + 231.1)/2 = 395.4 million
395,000,000 + 71,000,000 =
Santa was exposed to approximately 466,400,000 times from 1951 to 2000

2001 to 2014
2001 to 2010 = (25.4 x 10)/2 = 127 million
2011 to 2014 = (26.47 x 10)/2 = 132.4 million

Santa was exposed to approximately 259,400,000 times from 1951 to 2000

In total, from 1821 to 2014 Santa was exposed to asbestos 1,178,800,000 times in the UK alone.

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