April 9, 2010

Experts Predict High Pollen Levels Will Worsen

All around the country, high pollen levels are being reported, and experts are predicting that 2010 will be one of the worst seasons for allergy sufferers in years.

Many factors are involved, according to an April 9 article by Associated Press (AP) writer Tamara Lush. A cold winter and high winds are partially to blame for the high frequency of the fine yellow airborne particulates--and according to what pollen.com executive Web producer J.P. Levins told Lush, "The season is actually just picking up."

How bad has it been? In Norfolk, Virginia, local medical technologist Barbara McCormick told Jaedda Armstrong of The Virginian-Pilot that pollen levels are the worst she had witnessed in a quarter of a century. While the area typically sees pollen counts of between 400 and 600, McCormick reported multiple readings of more than 2,000 over the past week. She advised those with allergies to stay indoors when possible and see their physicians when necessary.

Likewise, GreenvilleOnline.com staff writer Eric Connor notes that pollen levels in the South Carolina city were 6,500 particles per cubic meter on Monday--the highest such readings in 12 years, and Arth Pandya of technicianonline.com noted that the pollen count in Raleigh, North Carolina "reached 9,632 grains per cubic meter" on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Mike Morris of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote, that the pollen count "was 5,733 particles of pollen per cubic meter of air, more than 2,000 higher than last spring's peak, and only 280 below Atlanta's record reading of 6,013, set on April 12, 1999."

Pollen is a typically fine to coarse powder that has a hard coat and contains seed plant microgametophytes. Pollen grains typically come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with those that typically cause allergies originating from anemophilous plants. They tend to be lightweight and are easily inhaled.


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