Both natural and artificial Christmas trees can contain allergy-causing mold.
Last week we discussed the environmental footprint of Christmas trees, and how although both natural and artificial Christmas trees have their individual pros and cons, natural Christmas trees appear to be better for the environment.
Now news sources have reported one more issue to be aware of when it comes to Christmas trees—they can contain mold than can cause allergies! Furthermore, both natural and artificial trees can contain mold.
Although we may consider natural Christmas trees as living, they’re not; and like all organic matter, they begin to decompose as soon as they’re dead.
What to do: Buy a tree as late as possible, make sure it’s freshly cut, and keep it for a very short time. Ensure that your Christmas tree is freshly cut by going to a farm where you can pay to choose and cut down your own tree—make it a new holiday tradition with your family. Before you bring the tree inside, bang it against the ground so excess needles and organic matter will fall off. You can also cover the water source.
Don’t think that just because they’re not decomposing like natural trees, artificial trees are off the hook! Being in storage for most of year can cause allergy-inducing mold to grow. Artificial trees may also shed dust that contains lead, a known neurotoxin.
What to do: Store it in a dry area, such as an attic or closet rather than a damp basement or crawlspace. This will prevent mold growth but not dust.