Although they are beautiful, the Christmas decorations you have already put up or will put up soon can pose a risk to your health.
In an interview in daily MailDirector of cleaning company Hashtag Clean, Jordan Harvey, explained that the condition of our trees and other decorations is often neglected. However, sometimes they haven’t been cleaned for years and can contain very unpleasant surprises that can ruin your holiday season.
If you store your decorations in a basement or shed, moisture can cause mold to build up on them.
“If you don’t clean them and store them in a dry place, the ornaments can become damp and dusty, opening the door to mold and mildew,” says Jordan Harvey.
In addition to irritating your eyes and skin, mold can cause coughing, nasal congestion, or a runny nose. It can particularly affect people with allergies or asthma and, in extreme cases, cause breathing difficulties.
Choosing your Christmas tree shouldn’t be neglected either.
“Choosing an artificial tree can be a good idea if someone has allergies, because a real tree can increase the number of mold spores in the air, especially when it’s cold and the windows are closed,” says Ms. Harvey.
Placing your decorations without dusting and cleaning them can be harmful to your health as well.
“Of course, decorations attract dust and dirt from the air,” says cleaning expert Sarah Dempsey.
“The Christmas decorations on your tree are more likely to end up in dust and pet hair, because they float in the air and stick to any surface,” she adds.
Where you place your decorations can also affect your health. For example, if you put it in your kitchen, it may end up with greasy particles in the air. Then, the dust will stick to the grease and the decorations will be difficult to clean, says Ms. Dempsey.
Inhaling dust may cause sneezing, but it also causes coughing, eye irritation, and asthma attacks. In the long term, inhaling dust may be dangerous for people with health problems such as heart disease or emphysema.
A natural tree or wreath will almost certainly contain insects, says Sarah Dempsey.
“The majority of these insects do not pose a risk to your health or the health of your family, and many will die after only a few days of being exposed to a warmer environment,” she explains.
However, other insects can cause different problems. This is especially the case for rats and mice that can find refuge in the boxes where you store your decorations.
“Mice urinate and spread diseases like salmonellosis and leptospirosis,” Ms. Dempsey says.
To avoid such problems, it is recommended to store your decorations in plastic containers with a lid instead of cardboard boxes.
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