Health Watch -- Holiday Tip #3 - Evergreens
and Allergies

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on "Healthwatch," we're helping you prepare for a healthy holiday season. For those who celebrate Christmas, the season wouldn't be the same without a Christmas tree. But doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas warn that a live evergreen in your home can be a recipe for misery if someone in your family suffers from allergies. The Douglas firs and Scotch pines sold at Christmas tree lots don't pollinate in winter, but if you cut your own tree from the wild, you need to be careful which tree you choose. Mountain cedars release their pollen at this time of year, and you don't want that happening inside your house.

Even the trees that don't pollinate could be a problem if they bring mold and fungus inside with them. UT Southwestern allergists say just about anything from the outdoors is likely to contain mold spores, which are a common allergen. The best bet for an allergy sufferer is probably an artificial tree that's stored so it stays dust-free.

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Dec. 2004

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