The scent of pine may be a wonderful trigger for memories of Christmases past, but you should also be aware of risks that can accompany this centerpiece of holiday festivities. Your indoor air quality can be affected by your tree, which can also affect the health of one or more members of your household. Symptoms of Christmas tree problems can mirror those of seasonal illnesses or allergies, so you might not readily consider your tree to be a concern. If you or your family members experience increased head congestion, itchy eyes, rashes, headaches, or bronchial irritation, your tree could be a factor.
Fresh Christmas Trees and Your Indoor Air
A study by The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology identified that increased seasonal asthma and sinus problems could be linked to the use of live Christmas trees. The researchers measured mold levels over a 14-day period, finding that spore counts were more than five times as high at the end of the period as at the beginning. If members of your family are sensitive to mold, a live tree may not be the best choice. Even those who are not sure of mold sensitivities might find that precautionary measures are reasonable for promoting better indoor air quality. For example, you can wash your live tree outside before bringing it into the home to remove as much mold as possible.
IAQ Issues with Artificial Trees
While artificial trees may avoid the introduction of allergens into your home, there is a possibility of dust and other chemical elements affecting your air supply. A thorough cleaning at the beginning and end of the season can help to remove dust and other contaminants. Watch for evidence of pests as well, and take precautions to keep them out when you store your tree at the end of the season.
Sensible Holiday Decor Tips
Planning your decor to minimize health risks can ensure that you enjoy your favorite traditions without compromising the health of your family members. With a live tree, recognize that spores tend to multiply over time. A shorter display period may be ideal for keeping mold production down.
Engineered Air Can Help with Seasonal Indoor Air Quality
An electronic air cleaner can filter out mold, dust, and other seasonal contaminants from your airstream. Call our office to discuss your air purification needs today.