Hidden Mold in Live Christmas Trees May Cause ‘Christmas Tree Syndrome’

With the Christmas holiday right around the corner, it’s time to start preparing your home for the many friends and family members who come over to enjoy this most wonderful time of the year. Sometimes it can be stressful preparing for such a big event, and it is important to keep the quality of health in your home at its utmost best so that everyone partaking in the celebration- including yourself- can enjoy this precious time with as little worry as possible.

Each year, families debate on the pros and cons of getting a live Christmas tree versus an artificial tree. Artificial trees can be re-used year after year, but the authenticity and nostalgia of going out to the tree lot, selecting the most perfect tree, and decorating it is also something that you can’t get with a store-bought synthetic tree. One factor to keep in mind is whether anyone in your family is prone to allergic reactions, because doctors have stated that live Christmas trees harbor mold spores that can potentially affect any sensitive people in your family.

Doctor Robert Arnold of Doctor’s Express Urgent Care states that within only 2 weeks of bringing a live tree home, mold counts can soar and trigger something called ‘Christmas Tree Syndrome’. These symptoms can sometimes be confused since people may think that they are allergic to the actual tree itself. Regardless of whether a tree is a spruce or a juniper tree, they can all cause similar reactions. Many of the mold spores arise because live trees can be left wet from watering or cleaning prior to being bought, and wetness is a breeding ground for mold. Symptoms can be triggered by skin contact with the trees, or from breathing in mold spores which can cause allergies, itchy eyes, runny nose, fatigue, and congestion. In fact, 70 percent of molds found on Christmas trees can trigger asthma attacks. Ironically, research has shown that even artificial trees which have accumulated dust and dirt over time in storage can also cause similar problems.

These problems can be somewhat eliminated if you take time to clean your artificial tree prior to setting it up after it has been sitting in storage for most of the year. It is also important to wear gloves and long sleeves while handling and decorating your live tree to prevent superficial contact with the sap of live trees, which is known to cause skin irritation.

We want to stress that mold affects every individual differently. One person in your family might have severe allergic reactions to it, while someone in the same home may not be affected at all. That is way it is so important to consult a professional about potential mold in your home to identify the exact source of mold and how it might be harming any building inhabitants.

If you have any question at all concerning the health of your family due to the presence of hidden mold, don’t hesitate to call us at (954) 247-9444 and we will get your home happy and healthy right away!

Happy Holidays from MVP Environmental Solutions, Inc. !!

Sources:
Skovira, Kristen. “Mold, Pollen, and Sap from Christmas Trees Could Cause Allergic Reactions during the Holidays.” ABC 7 News Denver. N.p., 2 Dec. 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014. <http://www.thedenverchannel.com/thenow/mold-pollen-and-sap-from-christmas-trees-could-cause-allergic-reactions-during-the-holidays>.
Harris, Sherea. “Doctors Say Mold Found in Christmas Tree Varieties Can Trigger Allergies.” Doctors Say Mold Found in Christmas Tree Varieties Can Trigger a. World Now and 12 WFSA, 1 Dec. 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014. <http://www.wsfa.com/story/27521440/doctors-say-mold-found-in-christmas-tree-varieties-can-trigger-allergies>.

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