Holiday Décor:

The Top 6 Sources of

Potential Problems

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By: Dr. Noreen Kahn-Mayberry

We all love our beautiful holiday trimmings and décor, but many of them exude potentially toxic chemicals that may harm us and our fam- ilies. It’s important to be aware of which decorations could be the cul- prits and know what to do about them so we aren’t breathing in high doses of off-gassing chemicals and adhesives.


But wait, am I trying to scare you before the holidays? Absolutely not; it’s all about lowering your doses of toxins by taking the right precautions. So, what do I do to protect my family from the harmful substances in holiday décor? I wash my air with the Intense Pure Air by Rowenta. You may wonder why I chose this air filter over others. The answer is simple. Not only is it the only one that removes can- cer-causing formaldehyde from the air, it is also the most effective at removing allergens, dust, dander, viruses, and other toxins. I just plug it in and go and it does all the work.


Now, back to those trimmings that may be contaminating your home environment. Here are the top six:

Plastic Trees and Shrubs
Plastic flora may contain dioxins, endocrine-disrupting phthalates, and parabens, which can lower sperm count and cause reproductive issues for women while they are trying to conceive, as well as while they are pregnant.


Scented Candles
Most candles are made of paraffin wax, which releases highly toxic (cancer causing) benzene and toluene. Harmful effects include, central nervous system (CNS) depression, brain and lung damage, asthma attacks for those with the condition, possible developmental issues for children, and cancer.


Air Fresheners
These products contain an unknown mixture of thousands of chemicals in their fragrance. P-dichlorobenzene, which deadens the nerve cells of the nose by coating the nostrils in a type of film; endocrine-disrupting phthalates; parabens, which change hormone balance and can lead to a number of conditions, including thyroid problems;
formaldehyde; benzene; and a host of potentially cancer-causing petrochemicals are just a few of them. Potential toxic effects from these agents, aside from cancer, are asthma, allergy attacks, eye irritation, liver disease, kidney malfunction, gastrointestinal problems, and skin rash.

Spray-on Snow
This seasonal product releases methylene, acetone, and a number of unknown chemicals into the air. They are inhaled when the product is
sprayed and as it is drying and setting.

Christmas Lights Containing Lead
Some Christmas lights still contain lead, which can damage the brain and liver.


Mistletoe and Fresh Holly

These holiday staples should never be consumed as they are toxic to people, and must be kept out of the reach of children and those suffering from cognitive impairment.


The holidays are to be enjoyed. They are not meant to be spent worrying about air quality. Do be aware that some of the products we purchase to make our homes more festive can produce harmful toxins. Try to limit these, and to be on the safe side, purchase a product that will clear the air of impurities and your mind of worries.

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