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Is Your Christmas Tree Making Your Family Sick?

Is Your Christmas Tree Making You Sick?

I love our Christmas Tree. It’s festive, grand, and gorgeous.  But there is a downside to all this holiday cheer. I think out Christmas Tree is making us all sick.

My husband and I both suffer from allergies to cats, various flowers and apparently also a freshly cut Douglas Fir. I’ve complained about our adverse reaction to our tree on Twitter, Facebook, at holiday parties and now here on Babble. And it turns out I am not alone in my Christmas Tree woes.  And this malady has a name, it’s called Christmas Tree Syndrome.

What are the symptoms?

The Telegraph noted that Upstate Medical University, which is part of the State University of New York, did a study that found that there is “a peak in respiratory illnesses in the weeks either side of December 25.”

After analyzing cuttings from 28 different trees they found especially the molds that can grow on the trees – that “70 per cent can cause symptoms including itchy noses, watery eyes, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pains, sinus congestion, feelings of fatigue and problems sleeping.”  They also found that some affects can be long term finding that they can “even lead to long term lung problems and conditions such as bronchitis and pneumonia.”

The Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology did research that found that during a two week period, “the number of airborne mold spores increases from 800 per 35 cubic feet to 5,000.”

Yeah, pretty crazy. But if you suffer from Christmas Tree Syndrome, what do you do about it? The best thing you can do is either not get a tree or get a fake one. If you don’t do that, then you can take the tree, hose it down outside and let it dry before you put it up.  Otherwise, just don’t let it live in your house for too long and take it down as soon as Christmas is over.

Do you suffer from any side effects from having a Christmas Tree in your home?

Image: Morgue Files

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