(NBC News) – Have you heard of Christmas tree syndrome? Allergies and asthma, according to doctors, can be exacerbated around the holidays.
When everyone is inside, together they often gather around the christmas tree. Experts say that tree can be harboring pollen and mold.
Dr. Karina Gobin an allergy and immunology doctor explains, “People think it’s the tree. It’s actually mold spores within the tree causing issues. if you already know you’re allergic to mold, or you’ve had that testing in the past, it’s better to steer clear of fresh cut and get a fake tree.”
Artificial plants pose problems too. Mold remediation specialist, JT Maier says cleanliness is key.
“It’s not just the dust. it’s the moisture,” says Maier, “If you ever get moisture mixed with dust you’re going to get mold. It can grow in 2-3 days.”
Mold and dust can lead to respiratory issues. Maier says wipe down the artificial tree, ornaments and all decorations before you set them up.
They’ve been stored away for months in garages, basements and attics – all prime breeding grounds for mold and dust mites.
“The most important thing is that you keep your house clean and put them away in a plastic or non organic type of box,” explains Maier.
Do not use cardboard. Paper is food for mold. Choose a waterproof and sealed container, and store in a cool dry place.
To keep the air clean for all your guests, avoid scented, petroleum based candles, that can produce soot and irritating particles.
Poinsettias can be problematic, too! The holiday plants can be a problem for people who are allergic to latex. Poinsettias are part of the rubber tree family.