Can Christmas Trees Affect My Home’s IAQ?

If you have ever suffered an asthma attack while decorating a live Christmas tree, you might wonder if that fresh pine smell is to blame. Believe it or not, that sweet, invigorating aroma that signals Christmas cheer can affect indoor air quality.

Medicine Seeks an Answer

Apparently, doctors have discovered that Christmas trees can bring on an asthma attack or increase sinus activity in non-asthma sufferers. The doctors who headed the study became curious when they observed a change in patient’s’ health during the holidays and decided to come up with some answers.

The Study’s Amazing Conclusion

Dr. Santilli of St. Vincent Medical Center and Dr. Gruchalla of the University of Texas discovered that bringing Christmas trees into the home actually increased mold growth from 800 to 5,000 spores during a two-week period. It’s hard to imagine, but when you give an appreciative sniff to the pine-scented air, you could actually breathe in harmful allergens along with it.

How Will the Mold Affect the Air Quality?

Dr. Kurlandsky of SUNY’s Upstate Medical University decided to look a little further and discovered that 28 Christmas trees yielded 58 different species of mold on the needles and bark. About 15 percent of people exposed to Christmas tree mold are likely to be susceptible to allergic symptoms, including a runny nose, headaches, scratchy throat or asthma attack.

Now, all this science and medicine sounds like it could put a damper on Christmas. However, there is a way to preserve tradition and shield yourself from harmful allergens.

Climate Design Brings the Solutions

Your friends at Climate Design recommend running an air purifier in the room that can filter out mold spores and make breathing much easier. You also have the option of putting up an artificial tree, which might not affect allergy-sufferers as much. Additionally, if you hose down your natural tree, it washes away a good deal of the mold and will limit mold spores from escaping into the air.

To be completely assured of the air quality in your home this holiday season, contact a Climate Design specialist who can inspect your home for sources of allergens and ensure that you enjoy a healthy holiday season.

 

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