Merk argiewe: verrassend

The surprising ways your Christmas decorations could be harming your health

CHRISTMAS is meant to be a time for fun and joy.

But experts have revealed that your versieringsincluding your tree could be harming your gesondheid.

Experts have warned that your Christmas tree, which festive, could be causing harm to your health

Experts have warned that your Christmas tree, which festive, could be causing harm to your healthKrediet: Getty

Pharmacist Sultan Dajani said one of the main ailments you could develop isChristmas tree syndrome‘.

Hy het verduidelik: “Christmas Tree Syndrome describes a health condition of increased allergic reactions when you put up your Christmas tree and decorate it.

Symptoms include runny nose, Kenners by ZOE het voorheen 'n lys van die tops saamgestel, and coughing, and also include symptoms that are similar to hay fever, such as itchy, watery eyes with dark circles under them.

You may also develop a skin rash, which is known as Christmas Tree dermatitis.

People with asthma may suffer from worsening symptoms, which could develop into bronchitis or longontsteking, related to their Christmas tree, hy het bygevoeg.

Sultan, from eyecare brand GoldenEye, said you could also be at risk from your decorations and lights.

Dust mites are one of the most common respiratory allergens and they can be carried into the house on both Christmas trees (both real and artificial) and on the decorations and light, het hy verduidelik.

This could leave you with a runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing.

He added that you might also develop a rash due to Christmas tree sap.

If you develop a rash at Christmas, you may be allergic to Christmas tree sap.

This material can cause a rash similar to that caused by poison ivy. It develops within a couple of days after touching the Christmas tree,” het hy verduidelik.

Mould on your Christmas tree could also leave you with respiratory issues, the expert said.

Top tips to prevent Christmas tree allergies

Pharmacist Sultan Dajani said there are some things you can do to avoid becoming unwell from your tree.

  • Shake down the tree to remove as much dust, mould, and pollen as possible before bringing it in the house
  • Hose down live trees before bringing them in the house. Mould spores thrive in the damp so dry your tree thoroughly by leaving it in the sun if possible or using a leaf compressor.
  • Wipe artificial trees and ornaments with a soft dry cloth to make sure they are dust free. Ornaments made of glass or plastic are easier to clean than those made of soft material
  • Minimise the time you keep a natural tree in the house, so not too long before and after Christmas. Mould spores continue to multiply when the tree is in the house
  • Store artificial trees and decorations in a cool, dry place. Seal tree sections and decorations in well-sealed boxes to prevent accumulation of dust
  • Wear a mask when you retrieve artificial trees and decorations ready for Christmas

“A studeer found more than 50 kinds of mould on samples researchers brought in from their own Christmas trees.

An artificial tree may be no better if it is dusty or stored in a damp garage, basement, or attic where mould could grow.

As the tree is brought into the house, the warmer environment causes moulds to grow. The study above found a 6 fold increase in mould when the Christmas tree was brought into the room and levels of mould did not fall until the tree was removed.

When it comes to decorations and little ornaments, it’s important to supervise your children with them at all times in order to avoid a possible choking or poison hazard, experts at the National Capital Poison Center in the US said.

They explained: “Glass Christmas ornaments can be attractive to young children and can break easily.

Stepping or crawling on the glass is a problem, but some ornaments also contain lead, mercury, or methylene chloride, which can poison children if they touch, taste, or swallow them.

Even though they are sharp, small glass pieces usually pass through the digestive tract uneventfully.

They added that some types of lights may also be dangerous.

Experts said ‘bubble lightswhich were popular in the 1970s could be poisonous.

When the lights were turned on and warmed, little bubbles would circulate through the lights. Although bubble lights were charming, the fluid inside was a poison—methylene chloride, which is the major ingredient in many paint strippers.

When swallowed or even touched, this liquid will be converted to carbon monoxide in the body.

Keep the original packaging for bubble lights if their ingredients are listed. Early signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, and headache,” het hulle bygevoeg.