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Could Your Christmas Tree be Making You Sick — Dave’s Diary

Many of us will put up the Christmas tree this weekend but for some it will be like hanging a mold magnet!  While the Christmas tree is most often a beautiful addition to your home during the holiday season. It brings joy and cheer… but, did you know that it could be making you sick? Christmas Tree Syndrome, a relatively new medical term defined by the State University of New York’s Upstate Medical University, is a serious problem for many Americans. This “sickness” has the possibility of making families sick, and possibly cause dangerous and long-term health issues.

The condition causing lethargy and breathing issues is  caused from mold spores. CTS was discovered when a peak in respiratory problems was discovered during December.

You can’t cancel Christmas so what can you do?

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Be sure to purify your air.
Place a household air purifier in the same room and that will help in removing allergens from the air.

Go with an artificial tree.
You may be missing the Christmas tree scent, but the bonus is that it will not trigger your allergies. Store it properly throughout the year to keep it free of mold and dust.

Wash your tree.
You should see if your tree nursery has tree-washing services. If it doesn’t, do it at home by hosing it off before it goes in your home.

After two weeks, Christmas trees’ airborne mold spore count increases.
It rises from 800 to 5,000 per 35 cubic feet. These types of mold may cause standard allergic rhinitis. This can lead to runny noses and sinus pain, but could potentially trigger an asthma attack.

The easiest way to tell if your tree is making you sick is simple: if you’re close to it and your symptoms worsen or are persistent, then chances are something is wrong. If decorating or grabbing presents from under it causes you to sneeze, you may suffer from Christmas Tree Syndrome. Throw your tree away soon after Christmas. Because mold spores increase the longer they are in your home, think about tossing it as soon as possible. (

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