Give Thought to Green when Buying a Tree

Thursday, December 18, 2008 by: Susanne Morrone, C.N.C.
Tags: Christmas trees, health news, Natural News

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) According to the New York Times on 12/4/08, the National Christmas Tree Association reported $l.3 billion in Christmas tree sales last year. This amounted to 3l million trees sold. Real Christmas trees bring an appeal that artificial trees just cannot provide, the pleasing scent of a pine forest. When selecting a traditional tree, there is one more thing to consider along with its size, shape and cost. It is not the possible tip-over from adventurous pets and small children or the fire-hazard potential. It's giving some serious thought to the pesticide factor. The pervasiveness of these chemicals extends to yet another facet of life in this holiday season.

The two classifications of pesticides used by growers are organophosphates and pyrethroids. Washington,D.C. based Beyond Pesticides, states: "Of the pesticides that the EPA has registered for use on Christmas trees, most are linked to one or more adverse effects, including cancer, hormonal disruption, neurotoxicity, organ damage, reproductive and birth defects, asthma, environmental effects and more."

Organophosphates include household and agricultural pesticides as well as deadly nerve gasses like sarin. They irreversibly inactivate acetylcholinesterase,the enzyme essential to nerve function. In the February 2004 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives, findings of a study showed five metabolites of organophosphate (OP) pesticides in over 50% of people examined. Children were found to contain significantly higher levels of OP metabolites, an alarming and grave concern "considering their developing organ systems often make them more sensitive to toxic exposure."

Pyrethroids are sold as commercial pesticides used to control pest insects in agriculture, homes, communities, restaurants, hospitals, schools, and as a topical head lice treatment. Pyrethroids are neurotoxins, and endocrine disruptors. When tested, certain pyrethroids demonstrate significant estrogenicity and increase the levels of estrogen in breast cancer cells (Go et al., 1999). Because increased cell division enhances the chances for the formation of a malignant tumor in the breast, artificial hormones, like those found in pyrethroids, may increase breast cancer risk (PCBR, 1996). They also can trigger life-threatening allergic responses including severe ashtma and heart failure. Pyrethrins, included in this class, are classified as "likely to be human carcinogens" by EPA because they cause thyroid tumors in laboratory tests. Farmers using these pesticides on their crops have an increased risk of developing leukemia.

As to whether or not the pesticides on the Christmas trees would pose a health danger, Dr. Thomas Arcury of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in N.C. stated: "Some residues would probably remain, just as they remain on the food we eat. How much that is — how dangerous that is — nobody knows." Dr. Arcury is professor and research director for the university`s Department of Family and Community Medicine. He also commented: "Many of the pesticides, particularly the organophosphates and pyrethroids, will break down in rain and UV light."

Dr. Arcury has completed studies on the effects of these chemicals on Christmas tree farm workers. The studies found traces of the chemicals used on the trees in their homes, on the hands and toys of their children, and in urine samples from the families. Because of their relatively high exposure and their developing bodies, infants and children are more likely to experience pesticide-related health effects—sometimes permanent—than other groups.

Families celebrating this holiday season can choose to go green and avoid the toxic chemicals that are typically used in the growing process. There are organically-grown options and perhaps some locally-grown without pesticides. Organic and non-toxic living makes sense in a world of on-going chemical assaults from many directions. While you`re out and about shopping, give gifts of health by keeping the gifts under the tree non-toxic.

Note: Certified Naturally Grown, a national organization with 500 members from 47 states, was founded in 2002 (the same year as the Agriculture Department's organic certification program) by small farmers looking for an alternative that didn't require a licensing fee and complicated record-keeping. State groups like the Farmer's Pledge, sponsored by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, can also provide assurances that a tree has been grown sustainably. (New York Times 12/4/08 "How green can a Christmas Tree Be?")

"Concentrations of Dialkyl Phosphate Metabolites of Organophosphorus Pesticides in the U.S. Population" is the study conducted and reported in Environmental Health Perspectives, Feb. 2004.

Go, V. et al. 1999. "Estrogenic Potential of Certain Pyrethroid Comounds in the MCF-7 Human Breast Carcinoma Cell Line." Environmental Health Perspectives. 107:3

"Hormonal and Environmental Factors Affecting Cell proliferation and Neoplasia in the Mammary Gland." Progress in Clinical and Biological Research (PCBR). 394:211-53, 1996.

About the author

Susanne Morrone, C.N.C., is an author, speaker and natural health educator. Her book, "The Best Little Health Book Ever," is the quintessential natural health primer. She is also included in "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health" by Her mission and educational outreach is found at

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.