Surprising Hidden Health Hazards of the Holiday Season

Here's how to sidestep some staples of the season that can leave you feeling less than merry (20 Photos)

Brenda Kearns on Nov 14, 2011 at 8:12AM

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Surprising Hidden Health Hazards of the Holiday Season

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Holiday Hazard: Evergreen Trees

When researchers at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology set up freshly-cut Christmas trees in homes, mold counts hovered close to the normal range for the first two weeks But after day 14, they skyrocketed eight times higher. The result: People began suffering from scratchy throats, coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes and draggy fatigue. “Mold is Mother Nature’s cleanup crew, so it grows rapidly on the needles, branches and trunk as soon as a cut tree starts to decay,” explains Kathleen May, M.D., an allergist in Cumberland, Md.

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