Ten Biggest Myths About Christmas Trees
MYTH #3: Real Christmas Trees aggravate allergies.
BUSTED: Often, we get emails and inquiries from news media asking if there is a type of Christmas Tree that won't bother a person's allergies. We've collected sources of information both about trees and allergies and share these with people.
Sources include the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS) and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). So it's not just "the Christmas Tree people" saying that the farm-grown tree itself is not the culprit.
A quick summary of the sources we have found are that while it's possible that a person may be allergic to tree pollen or even tree sap, it's not as widespread as many believe. We have read that in rare cases, people can have an allergy to certain species of tree sap.
As for pollens, which certainly can be an allergen to people, a Real Tree itself is unlikely to produce pollen during December, and even if it did, pollens from pines are not a known allergen. According to the NIEHS of the 50,000 different kinds of trees, less than 100 have been shown to cause allergies. Most allergies are specific to one type of tree.
But being outdoors for years in the field, a Christmas Tree can collect pollens, dust, mold or other allergens. Of course, so can the artificial tree stored in the attic or basement. Whether you use a fresh Christmas Tree from a farm, or an artificial tree stored in a box, if you have sensitive allergies to dust, molds, etc., AAAAI recommends you spray the tree down in the yard with a hose before putting up. Let it dry completely before bringing indoors.
Resources we have found pertaining to holiday allergy prevention include: www.aaaai.org/media/news_releases/2004/11/111204.stm
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