Who doesn’t love the scent of freshly-cut balsam for the holidays?
And the look of fresh cedar boughs twisted around the stair railings and evergreen wreaths above the fireplace?
But if you happen to have tree allergies or mold allergies, all of this Christmas loveliness is bad for your health!
Think you just have a cold? You might have Christmas tree allergies.
Most Christmas trees are cut in advance of the holidays and stored in a moist environment, making them a likely mold source. However, artificial trees and ornaments collect dust in storage and are therefore another possible source of allergy irritation. Source
If you tend to start sneezing and wheezing around Christmastime, you could be allergic to the tree mold.
Mold is a small fungus which forms on animal or vegetable matter. It is often associated with decay.
Studies have shown a marked increase in sinus problems and asthma attacks over the 2 weeks that Christmas trees are common in the home.
The mold count from a live Christmas tree rose to 5 times the normal level 2 weeks after the tree was brought indoors, and that can prove problematic for people with mold allergies. Source
Once a tree is cut down at the Christmas tree farm it begins to die, and the decay begins within a couple of days.
Here’s why Christmas tree mold is an issue:
It’s a common growth on outdoor vegetation, but when outdoor vegetation is brought indoors, the normal mold level in a home increases substantially.
Mold. It’s invisible to the naked eye, it floats in the air like pollen, and your exposure to it may increase during the holidays because mold spores love damp evergreens like the wreaths, boughs, and trees we bring inside this time of year. The mold and mildew in decaying leaves only adds to the irritation as we track them inside on shoes and clothes. Source
Here are 4 trees that won’t get mold.
If you are among the 15% of Americans who have mold allergies, you don’t have to change your Christmas tradition.
Here are a few tips to help you cut the Christmas mold level in your home, without giving up the tree:
For the record, recent tests indicate that girdling trees as they grow will reduce susceptibility to mold fungi, but it could be some time before Christmas tree farms take to girdling all their trees or even consider it.
It would increase costs for the farmer, and those costs would then be passed on to the consumer.
I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).
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