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Health Mold

Sneezing? It Could Be Your Christmas Tree!

new york mold testingAh, the delightful scent of a piney Christmas tree, filling your home with love, light, good cheer – and mold spores! Yes, trees decay and release mold spores into the air. And right about now, when the tree has been in your home at least a week, is when the sneezing and wheezing begins.

Connecticut researchers have discovered that the mold count mold allergy new jerseyfrom a live Christmas tree rose to five times the normal level two weeks after the tree was brought indoors. According to Philip Hemmers, MD, an allergist and immunologist with St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, Conn., the high levels of the mold correlate with allergic rhinitis and an increased rate of asthma symptoms and asthma-related hospitalizations in other studies. Dr. Hemmers’ advice: If you don’t feel well during the holidays, your evergreen Christmas tree could be the culprit.

He recommends people with mold sensitivity keep a live Christmas tree in their home for only four to seven days. Signs of mold sensitivity can include chronic allergies, headaches, mold allergy treatmentfatigue, skin rashes, throat and eye irritations, wheezing, and many respiratory problems including asthma.

If tossing the tree so quickly isn’t for you, another option is over the counter allergy medicine. It works wonders for many people, letting you enjoy your fresh tree until after the New Year.

Once the tree is discarded, vacuum and dust well. To be sure you’ve removed any mold spores, and to see if mold is growing even in places you can’t see, call an environmental testing company. “Getting your home tested for mold now can save you big headaches allergy connecticutlater,” says Robert Weitz, a certified microbial investigator. “Most people wait months, long after a mold infestation has taken root, before they deal with the problem. Once this happens, repairs are often extensive and very expensive. I’ve seen people who had to leave their homes for extended periods while these problems were being remedied.”

Weitz is a principal at RTK Environmental Group, the Northeast’s leading environmental testing company. For more information or to schedule an appointment to have your home tested for mold, click here.

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Health Mold

Summer Cold or Mold Allergy?

Summer cold or mold allergy?  While you may think you or your child just has a relentless cold, it may be something entirely different – an allergy to mold.  Mold allergies produce the same symptoms as the common cold; however, they won’t go away with homemade chicken noodle soup.

A mold allergy does not mean that you are allergic to mold, rather to the spores or seeds.  Often the symptoms for mold allergies reach their height in the summer, and then just never seem to go away – leading many to believe that they have a cold they can’t kick.

mold allergy symptomsMold thrives during the hot, damp summer months which is why we see more mold allergies during that time than any other.  A nasal reaction is usually one of the first signs of an allergy to mold.  The reaction could take the form of a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, or a postnasal drip.

If you feel as though a summer cold is hanging around a bit too long, make an appointment with an allergist to get tested for a mold allergy.  There are two types of tests that can be done: a skin prick test, or a blood test.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for a mold allergy, but there are ways to reduce the symptoms.  While simple over the counter drugs can relieve your pain, it is important to try and avoid mold whenever possible.  Have a certified microbial investigator come check for mold in your home, and if necessary, have it removed as quickly as possible.  Obviously you cannot avoid mold altogether, but removing it from your home is a huge leap in the right direction.