Do you have a beautiful Christmas tree in your living room right now?
Well, sorry to be a buzzkill, but that tree might be impacting your home’s air quality . . . for the WORSE. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a real tree or a fake one. Here’s what the experts have to say . . .
Real Christmas trees emit a mix of volatile organic compounds, which are known as VOCs. That pine scent your Christmas tree gives off is due to a mix of different VOCs. (It’s also what gives pine-scented wood and floor cleaners their smell.)
According to the EPA, VOCs can cause headaches and irritation to your eyes, nose, and throat. And in some cases it can even cause respiratory infections.
With a real Christmas tree, you’re also potentially bringing in mold and other outdoor contaminants like pollen.
So people who are particularly sensitive . . . like people with asthma or bad allergies . . . may feel extra irritation when they have a real Christmas tree in their home.
As for artificial trees, they can potentially contain a bunch of chemicals and irritants . . . like plastics, PVCs, phthalates (pronounced tha-layts), and flame retardants.
So what are you supposed to do?
Regardless of what kind of tree you choose, the best thing you can do to improve your home’s air quality is open the windows to clear out some of the indoor pollutants . . . or use HEPA filters to clear out particles and dust.