Hi OnAir Community!
It’s that time of year again… yep, it’s pollen season. Now, I know that this might not be what many of you would consider worthy of a post where we usually discuss often life threatening environmental issues, but as a girl who has awful allergies, I’m here to tell you that pollen is no joke.
Assuming most of you live in Georgia like I do, you too are experiencing the joy that is the yearly “pollen dump.” Yes, every year I, along with thousands of other Atlanta natives, dread the spring dump of yellow-y dust which then proceeds to cover everything that will stand still long enough. You can see the clouds of pollen floating like smoke or like Egyptian sand storms through the air. Sure it’s annoying, and sure it makes lots of people sneeze, but what is its deal?
Scientists account for numerous variables when it comes to measuring the levels of pollution in cities throughout the world. However, it is understandably difficult for them to identify which minute particles are which while they are all suspended in the atmosphere. According to Scientific American, the most recorded types of these particles are soot, ash, and other man-made pollutants. However, they have now started identifying plant and animal particles such as pollen, bacteria, and skin cells that make up almost a quarter of the world’s atmospheric aerosols. German scientists collected data from cities around the world and, of course, pollen levels spiked in the spring and skin cells in the winter.
What does this mean for us when pollen season rears its ugly yellow head? Well, nothing per se, but it is interesting to know! However, I do have a few tips for those of you with allergies as bad as mine:
1.) Remember you are not alone; over 35 million other Americans are downright miserable during the spring and early summer months.
2.) Stay aware of the pollen counts. You can usually find the daily count on your local weather site and even download pollen count apps to your phone!
3.) Do your best to avoid long stints outside, especially on high pollen days. Yes, the weather is gorgeous, but if your allergies are bad enough, you may have to enjoy the sun rays while wearing a face mask.
4.) Know which parts of the day are highest for pollen. Usually the time between 5 and 9 AM is when pollination occurs, so try to eliminate outside activities during this time.
5.) Avoid bringing pollen indoors by heading straight up to the shower and changing your clothes after being outside for a while.
If you’d like to read more about the study done on air particulates, Scientific American has some cool data. Breathe easy!