Navigation Links
Live Christmas Trees Can Trigger Mold Allergies
Date:11/16/2007

Spore counts soar when evergreens are brought indoors, researchers find

FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- While bringing home a live Christmas tree marks the beginning of the holiday season for many, the mold that thrives on its branches can trigger weeks of suffering for some, a new study shows.

Connecticut researchers have found that the mold count from a live Christmas tree rose to five times the normal level two weeks after the tree was brought indoors, and that can prove problematic for people with mold allergies. Their research was presented this week at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology annual meeting, in Dallas.

"Christmas trees are another possible source of mold exposure during the holiday season," said study co-author Philip Hemmers, an allergist and immunologist with St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, Conn. "Mold allergies peak in the fall, and we see a second peak with a lot of our mold-sensitive patients during the holiday season. Our finding correlates with this second peak of mold sensitivity."

The researchers studied the mold growth of a live Christmas tree in a house in Connecticut. Mold reproduce by releasing spores into the air, so after the live Christmas tree was brought inside the house and decorated, the researchers measured mold spore counts. These counts were taken 12 times over a two-week period between Dec. 24 and Jan. 6. The researchers did not assess the types of mold or whether these molds triggered allergic symptoms in people living in the house.

The study found that the mold spore count was 800 spores per square meter (m3) for the first three days. Normal spore counts are less than 1,000 spores/m3, said Hemmers. However, the spore count rose after day four, reaching a maximum of 5,000 spores/m3 by day 14.

"This mold spore count is five times above normal. These high levels have been correlated with allergic rhinitis and an increased rate of asthma symptoms and asthma-related hospitalization in other studies," said Hemmers. "So if you don't feel well during the holidays, consider the Christmas tree as a possible source of allergies."

Hemmers recommended that people with mold sensitivity keep a live Christmas tree in the house for only four to seven days. An artificial tree may be a better option for people with mold allergies, he added, but they carry their own set of problems, especially if they've been stored in the attic or basement where they can collect dust and mold.

Although Christmas trees are not a problem for most people with allergies, said Dr. David Khan, an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, there are things you can do to minimize their impact.

"If one is mold-allergic, running an air cleaner in the same room as the tree could theoretically reduce the mold exposure, but this has not been studied," he said. "For some people who are sensitive to odors, the aroma from the tree, which most people like, could irritate their nose and cause symptoms. For these people, avoiding live trees may be best."

Before people start avoiding live Christmas trees because of their mold growth, more research needs to be done, said Dr. Dennis Ownby, a professor of pediatrics and medicine at the Medical College of Georgia, in Augusta. Since this study only looked at a single tree in one home, more homes with trees should be investigated, as well as the types of mold found and whether those molds trigger allergies. He added that the researchers should also measure mold counts outside the home and correlate those to indoor mold counts.

Hemmers said that the outdoor mold count was likely low, since the study was done during the winter. The research team does plan to do further work this Christmas season by looking at more homes and the types of mold found.

In addition to Christmas trees, there are other potential holiday allergens, said Dr. James Sublett, section chief of Pediatric Allergy at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky. These can include foods consumed at holiday parties, such as nuts and shellfish, and Christmas ornaments and lights that have been contaminated with dust or mold.

"Store Christmas decorations in plastic containers that you can wipe off, since cardboard can potentially have mold," he advised. "Also wear a N95 dust mask when bringing stuff out of storage."

More information

For more on holiday allergies, visit the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.



SOURCES: Philip Hemmers, D.O., allergist and immunologist, St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport, Conn.; David Khan, M.D., associate professor, internal medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; James Sublett, M.D., clinical professor and section chief, pediatric allergy, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Kentucky; Dennis Ownby, M.D., professor, pediatrics and medicine, Medical College of Georgia; Nov. 12, presentation, American Academy of Alllergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting, Dallas


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Finicky Felines Award Four Stars to New Wellness(R) Healthy Indulgence Everyday Entrees
2. Bayer Plants Trees With Chartiers Valley Intermediate School Students, Provides Free Environmental Education Materials
3. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
4. Pollen, Fruits, Veggies Help Trigger Oral Allergy Syndrome
5. Cell that triggers symptoms in allergy attacks can also limit damage, Stanford researchers find
6. Cell-surface sugar defects may trigger nerve damage in multiple sclerosis patients
7. Kensey Nash Reports Acceleration of Stock Awards Triggered by Shareholder Acquisition of Greater Than 20% of Outstanding Shares
8. Kaiser Permanente study: Alcohol amount, not type -- wine, beer, liquor -- triggers breast cancer
9. Going Back to School Can Trigger Eating Disorders
10. Fruity vegetables and fish reduce asthma and allergies
11. Breastfeeding does not protect against asthma, allergies
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Live Christmas Trees Can Trigger Mold Allergies
(Date:6/25/2016)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 ... ... will discuss health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June ... share their work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Miami, FL (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton ... Plant City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: ... The closing for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding emergency ... its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. Ogunleye ... M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. Ogunleye ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as ... City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, ... the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. ... toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... --  Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: PULM ), ... today that it was added to the Russell Microcap ... set of U.S. and global equity indexes on June ... for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer Robert Clarke ... in developing drugs for crucial unmet medical needs, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that ... e-clinical software solution of choice.  This latest decision ... value to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art ... relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of ... full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, ... (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is ... a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: