Monday, December 10, 2007

Bad humbug

…HA loves Christmas and Christmas trees.

…Yet, she has learned that some people are allergic to live trees.

…Not oaks or elms in the spring —but Christmas trees.

…Writing in the Baltimore Sun on Dec 6, 2007, Linda Shrieves says docs have long suspected Mr Tannenbaum over there for causing sniffles, sneezes, and sinus symptoms around the holidays.

…Allergists would tell people to take down their trees, but were greeted like latter day Grinches because they had no proof.

…Finally Connecticut allergist John Santilli placed a tree inside an intern’s apartment and took air samples for two weeks. For the first three days, Shrieves reports, mold counts were around 800 spores per cubic meter of air (normal is 500-700). By day 14, this had rocketed to 5,000.

…The longer the tree is up, the worse it gets.

…The mold is nature’s way of breaking down the dead tree.

…Canadian researchers also looked into this seasonal allergy and decided that as many as 7% of people with allergies may be allergic to their trees—though they blamed the resins.

…Nope, Santilli, says, mold.

…Well, the Christmas Tree Association has another take on it. Trees outside can collect allergens, they sniff, but so can artificial trees stored in basements.

…To HA’s knowledge no one has subjected an intern to artificial tree cooties. So the jury is out.

…Out here in Chandler, Arizona, the city makes a giant tree out of tumbleweeds. Sounds dorky, but it is actually sorta cool.

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