The various activities of the holidays can create some unhealthy environmental situations.
Cooking a big meal can result in elevated levels of various pollutants. Ultrafine particles (UFP) can penetrate deep into the respiratory system and cause a number of mild to serious health effects. Studies have found that UFP concentrations increase when detergent residues are reheated with the use of electric stoves and cooking utensils.
“Christmas Tree Syndrome” is also a holiday problem. Molds, pollen, dust, mites and more come home on the Christmas tree or collect on decorations in storage that can cause health effects.
TIPS FOR A HEALTHY HOLIDAY
• Wear a long-sleeve shirt and gloves when you dig through storage.
*For those especially sensitive, consider a N95-rated dust mask.
• Wipe down decorations with a damp cloth when removing them from storage.
• Avoid scented sprays and candles.
*When lit, candles can emit UFPs that contain metals from color pigments.
• Give metal and plastic ornaments a warm, soapy bath, and let them air dry.
• Storing fabric decorations and heirlooms in a plastic, vacuum storage-type bag helps protect them from gathering unwanted settling particles.
• Ditch the cardboard boxes. Store decorations and artificial trees in plastic bags or bins.
• Wear a long-sleeve shirt and gloves to handle the tree.
• A leaf blower does wonders to remove visible pollen from the tree.
• Spray the tree with water and let it dry in an enclosed area outside the home to dry, such as a garage.