By Dr. Paul Ehrlich
Thanksgiving is approaching, and the holiday shopping season has begun, so I thought the time was right for this follow-up to a previous post. Food is not the only problem at holiday time.
For years I was confused by patients who had nasal congestion once their Christmas trees were up. People would think they were allergic to pine trees, but allergists know that pine pollen is very heavy, falls to the ground and does not cause allergies. I learned from a colleague that the symptoms were due to mold allergies. Once cut, these trees die, of course. Then, during the time they are being transported to market, sitting around dead on the streets before they are sold, and then standing in the home, mold has time to grow.
Old Christmas trees are a fire hazard because they dry out and become highly flammable, but if there are allergies in the home, there’s another reason to get rid of them.