Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Very Particulate

Atlanta has been called a city set in a forest, because of the number of trees here. During the building boom of recent years, NASA reported that we were losing 50 acres of trees per day. Significant efforts have been made by private organizations like Trees Atlanta and to replant and offset those losses. I'm all for it; I love me some trees and shade.

But you'd hardly know about that today, assuming you're a person who breathes. Last Wednesday, the pollen count (particles per cubic meter of air) was 17. Any number over 120 is considered "extremely high." Five days later, the count was 1633. The next day, 2967. Today the count is 5733, just below the all-time record. The primary contributors are birch, oak, pine and sweetgum. I would take a picture for you, but I'm not going out there until I have to.

So I'll just share this great scanning electron photomicrograph of pollen, found on the University of Arizona's School of Engineering website.

The forecast calls for rain tomorrow. Please.


  1. Did you read the article,Allergy-Free New York, in yesterday's NY Times? The article advocated planting less allergenic trees to make life better for folks like you.

  2. I'm fortunate that I don't suffer from allergies, but the consequences like eye irritation, headaches, etc. spare very few. And I hadn't seen the NYT article. It's an interesting concept, but I think that, at least here, his proposal would be, um, impractical.

  3. This makes me think of Phoenix, once an allergy free zone. Then people with allergies moved there and decided it needed to be just like the place they left. Allergy free no more.