Something to turn your nose at: many allergy reports not worth a sneeze
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Louisiana’s Capital City is among the worst to live in if you suffer from spring allergies. Like the tropics in summer or Saturday afternoons in the fall, Louisianans check the pollen count regularly. But according to experts, depending on your source, the information could be all wrong.
Most websites actually provide projections of future pollen counts and do not specify what is currently making you sniffle and sneeze. These counts are based on an almanac and account for weather. So even if the pollen is high, the report could say low if the season has started early or rain was expected but did not happen.
Researchers with the American Academy of Allergy, Asthmas and Immunology (AAAAI) found that allergy reports offered on popular commercial websites like pollen.com or weather.com differed significantly from those counted by degreed experts. These more accurate, locally specific pollen counts are taken by member of the National Allergy Board (NAB). The NAB is a network of counting stations across the United States that take air samples and examine them under a microscope to get an actual count.
You might also notice that the commercial sites also list some allergens that do not sound right, or are not indiginous to your locale. Experts reiterate this as just one more downfall to overlooking counts filed by your regional NAB station.
The WBRZ Weather Team is not only committed to bringing you timely, relatable weather forecasts but also environmental information relevant to your day. Each weekday morning during the outdoor months, the WBRZ Weather Team presents a Weather and Health report on 2une In, Facebook and Twitter. This report features a U.V. Index, the Air Quality level from the Department of Environmental Quality and a categorized, detailed pollen count from Southeast Louisiana’s NAB station.
Researchers are still working on a pollen counting system that automatically samples the air, takes images, and sends those images to a central computer for comparison to others in the database. Once this procedure is completed, computers will be able to produce parish, county or even zip code based pollen counts, instantaneously. For now, kind of like with weather forecasts, your best bet is to stick with information coming from a human.