A Good Poop

The ever deadly Christmas tree

Maas RP, Patch SC, Pandolfo TJ. Artificial Christmas trees: how real are the lead exposure risks? J Environ Health. 2004 Dec;67(5):20-4, 32.

Spectacularly real, if you’re a little kid. Neurotoxicity and neural development don’t mix, yo. A live tree might be more expensive, messier, and require watering, but the most you’re going to have to worry about health-wise is maybe being allergic to it.

Philip J, Bresnihan M, Chambers N. A Christmas tree in the larynx. Paediatr Anaesth. 2004 Dec;14(12):1016-20.

A 2 year-old got a plastic Christmas tree decoration stuck in his throat. Okay, I can see that. Now for the incredible part: “The family remembered the decoration from Christmas celebrations 2 years prior [to it’s identification and removal].”

Baverstock AM, White RJ. A hazard of Christmas: Bird Fancier’s Lung and the Christmas tree. Respir Med. 2000 Feb;94(2):176.

In other news, they have a disease called Bird Fancier’s Lung. Or, as my good friend Frat Boy Steve calls it, That Gay Ass Bird Disease.

Tiede RH, Hover JR, Davies SF. Unilateral phrenic nerve paralysis from cutting down a Christmas tree. South Med J. 1994 Nov;87(11):1161-3.

People have two phrenic nerves, which provide sensory information to the brain regarding the goings on in the chest and abdomen, as well as motor output to the diaphragm that causes it to contract. Contraction of the diaphragm is kind of necessary for breathing. This guy only damaged one of his phrenic nerves, so he was still able to breathe.

Brazier DJ. Eye damage from Christmas trees. Lancet. 1984 Dec 8;2(8415):1335.

Sadly, there is no abstract available, but allow me to speculate. Poorly executed present grabbing, overeager ornament hanging, or too much eggnog.


  1. #1 dc
    January 3, 2008

    Happy new year to you too.

  2. #2 CPC
    January 7, 2008

    Good speculation. Just read the paper: n=15. 1=injured while removing from car (thwack!); 7=while embedding the tree in pot/decorating; 4=removing tree/chopping it up. The author seems not to have attributed 3 then. 13 due to natural trees, 2 due to artificial. 11 men, 4 women. age range 27-57, average 35 years.

  3. #3 Jinx
    August 22, 2008

    Another reason to kill those feathery squawk machines in that cage over there….

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