What’s on your checklist for Christmas this year? Christmas tree, presents, Christmas dinner? You should add mold testing to the list. This is especially important after Christmas. This is because mold has now been linked to Christmas Tree Syndrome.
Mold and Christmas Tree Syndrome
Studies have shown that 1 in 3 people or about 35% of the population falls sick after Christmas. They exhibit symptoms similar to hay fever. These symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, congestion, headaches, dry skin and rashes. This illness is so common that it has been dubbed Christmas Tree Syndrome.
In the past, it was thought that the illness was the result of pollen that may have fallen from the Christmas tree. It was even thought that the use of chemicals such as weed killers in cultivating the trees played a part in making people ill. More recent studies however, have shown that this illness is the result of air quality issues specifically related to the presence of mold.
The studies show that Christmas Tree Syndrome is actually caused by the release of mold spores which in turn cause an allergic reaction with symptoms similar to hay fever. Some of the most common symptoms of Christmas Tree Syndrome include:
- Sinus pain
- Asthma attacks
- Runny nose
- Cold-like symptoms that only subside when the Christmas tree has been removed from the home or when you go into another room where the tree is absent.
How to minimize mold exposure during Christmas
Mold spores can be found everywhere including on Christmas trees. However, they will flourish when given the right conditions. You can minimize their impact on your health by:
- Having your tree hosed down before you bring it into the home. Some tree nurseries have services for washing trees.
- Thoroughly clean your ornaments before putting them up. They may harbor mold from previous years.
- Take allergy medication to alleviate the symptoms of allergic reactions.
- Invest in an air purifier and place it in the same room as the Christmas tree to help alleviate allergy symptoms.
- Invest in an artificial tree. Ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned before you put it up.
If you’re not sure about the state of your home, you should invest in mold testing. This will help ensure that you identify mold infestations and determine whether remediation is required. Having your home inspected for mold will ensure that you have an enjoyable and allergy-free Christmas. It is definitely worth the investment.
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