We love Christmas and all that comes with it – the family getting together, the decorations, the food and, of course, the Christmas tree.
But, passionate as we are about indoor air quality, we couldn’t help be interested in a debate on whether real Christmas trees enhance air quality or are, in fact, a dangerous source of spores and mould that can trigger asthma and allergies.
Deodorise and purify the air
Much of the research into this matter comes from the US – for example, a study out of Kansas State University found having a real Christmas tree in the house can decrease your chances of getting a cold or the flu.
It says real pines and sprruces have the ability to deodorise and purify the air in your home by absorbing toxins into the needles and bark.
The same study found that when you bring nature into the home, whether it's a Christmas tree or plants and flowers, they can lower blood pressure and anxiety.
Increase in mould spores
Research which highlights an opposite viewpoint comes from the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
It found that while the average healthy home has about 500-700 mould spores per cubic metre, having a live tree in your home for two weeks can increase the number of mould spores in your home to over 5,000 per cubic metres.
This can impact people who suffer from mould allergies - which is up to 15% of the population - and cause headaches and irritation of the nose, eyes or throat. Asthma attacks have also been known to occur.
A Happy Christmas to everyone
We remain neutral on this debate, feeling that more research is required into the subject before any definitive conclusion can be found.
In the meantime, what we do know is that this is a wonderful time of year (especially for a beautiful tree to be decorated in the home) and we wish everyone a Happy Christmas.