Heres' the concern we have with reference to the Christmas tree mold issue. We would never dispute the results; we're quite sure the device did measure an increase in mold spores during the time frame. But we take issue with what the allergy doctor did with that measurement.
1. He called it a study, which, with no control group measured and compared, is misleading at best. As pointed out in the White Paper, standards for scientific research were not adhered to and therefore, the conclusions should not be referred to as a "study."
2. He never presented his findings in front of a panel of peers, either medical professionals or mold experts. He merely left documents with some charts laying around at the conference.
3. He proactively contacted TV stations and newspapers offering to be interviewed about his new "study" he "recently presented" showing that Christmas trees cause allergic reactions to mold. And during these interviews told consumers if they had a farm-grown Christmas tree in their home longer than 10 days, they would suffer from post-nasal drip and other ailments.
That's highly unethical in our view.
What was his motivation for outreaching to news media? Was it purely altruistic pursuit of scientific/medical research? Was it to drum up patients/business for his practice? Was it to beef up a research grant application? Was there any tie to artificial Christmas tree companies? We don't know the answer, but find the whole thing rather suspicious, as did the scientists who signed the White Paper. As their conclusion states:
"The authors of this presentation linked allergenic fungal spores to real Christmas trees without sufficient scientific proof. The data presented are clearly preliminary and the conclusions made by the authors are not supported by sound science due to shortcomings in the experimental design....Due to the aforementioned shortcomings, the conclusion of the study is questionable. Further studies on Christmas trees in indoor environments are necessary to address the public concerns about airborne fungi in the near future."
Obviously, I am writing with a clear bias...won't deny that. But I ask that you understand where our sensitivity comes from. People who sell artificial Christmas trees have spent many years and major dollars trying to convince the public to buy an artificial tree instead of a farm-grown one by telling them they are likely to be allergic to the real thing.
So, if you see any news reports about a "Mold Study", understand where it comes from and that it has no scientific basis. Read the full White Paper on this page http://www.christmastree.org/ctmolds.pdf