The decision to buy a live cut tree for Christmas can be a decision that will affect your health during the holidays. If you have allergies, especially to mold, or asthma they can make you very sick. I know because I am one of those people who are allergic to pine trees, and mold, and I also suffer from asthma. If you get itchy eyes, a runny nose, headaches, hives, rashes or sneezing when around them you are probably allergic. The Christmas season can trigger weeks of suffering for those with allergies.
Mold will thrive on Christmas tree branches. It’s the heat that you use indoors that make the molds release into the air. The closer to a heat source that you have them the faster the mold is going to release. If they make you sick you are probably allergic to the pollen and pine sap of the pine trees also. You can run an air cleaner in the room with the tree, but your best option is to avoid them completely and go with artificial trees. The aroma from the trees can irritate you nose and throat, and cause sinus and bronchial infections.
I have found that just walking into someone’s home that has a cut Christmas tree for a few minutes can start me off having terrible headaches then all the other symptoms will soon follow. Also farm grown trees have been sprayed with chemicals and pesticides. They will tell you that they are safe around humans and pets, but to a person who has allergies or asthma they can still make you sick.
Some other things that are associated with the holidays and allergies are poinsettia plants, chestnuts, and wood burning fireplaces. Christmas scented air fresheners can trigger allergies or an asthma attack. If you store artificial trees and decorations they can harbor dust and mold. Store these in air tight plastic containers to keep them dry and dust-free. Sitting around the fireplace in the winter and during those family evenings during the holidays can make your friends and family ill. The smoke from wood burning fireplaces can trigger allergies and asthma.
Poinsettia plants contain compounds that are similar to the one you find in rubber latex gloves and can cause severe allergic reactions. If you are allergic to latex then you don’t want to come in contact with these plants. These beautiful plants when inhaled may give you symptoms of wheezing, itchy and runny nose, or skin irritations when coming in contact with the skin. Symptoms can also get more serious. If ingested by children or pets they can get severe gastrointestinal tract irritation. Some people can have a Chestnut allergy just like other nut allergies.