Are you affected by Christmas Tree Syndrome?

Christmas trees can gather dust and mould that is bad for your health
Christmas trees can gather dust and mould that is bad for your health

Scientists have revealed that Christmas trees may be responsible for a numbers of illnesses-including pneumonia

While it is the centrepiece for the festive season, your Christmas tree may actually be doing damage to your health.

Mould and dust that gathers on both real and artificial trees is causing one third of Britons to suffer health reactions to the the seasonal feature-such as a runny nose or more life-harming illnesses like pneumonia.

This has been dubbed as, 'Christmas Tree Syndrome'

A poll done by Prevalin Allergy, found that 35% of people suffered from an increase of hay-fever like symptoms over the Christmas period.

Symptoms include itchy nose, watery eyes, wheezing, coughing, chest pains and insomnia.

In the poll, pine trees were found to cause most of the problems.

Scientists have also discovered that there is an increase in respiratory problems in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

A study done by Upstate Medical University, part of State University New York, found that when they analysed pine needles and bark from 28 Christmas trees they found 53 cases of mould.

This mould can release spores that trigger allergic reactions.

Dr Lawrence Kurlandsky, who conducted the research said that not everybody will experience symptoms when exposed to mould spores.

"If you and your children don't have any obvious allergies, then it is probably not going to bother you."

A spokesman for the London Allergy Clinic said: "Someone with a lot of allergies can react to simply the smell of the Christmas tree, which comes from the pine resin, and it can trigger sneezes and wheezes in some people.

"Also, if someone already has a respiratory allergy - such as to a pet or dust mites - then the lining of their nose is already over-secreting and sensitive and the mould on the Christmas tree may make the symptoms of their normal allergy worse.

"'If your symptoms get worse in the room where the tree is and especially when you get close to the tree, for example, as you take presents off it, then it is safe to say the allergen causing your problems is coming from the tree."

Researchers recommended spraying a mild bleach on trees before they are brought into the house as it will kill off mould.

They also recommend putting up an artificial trees as late as possible to minimise the risk of it gathering dust.