I love spring as it marks the return of warm weather, outdoor activities, the blossom of flowers, and life in general. However, pollen becomes abundant everywhere there are plants and trees, as a result, the flare of allergy-related health issues too. I am allergic to some kind of pollen and although I can manage it without medication, some people are suffering to a greater extend and they need better ways to mitigate pollen out of their immediate environment.
Unfortunately, on earth, there are only a few special Air Quality monitors that can measure and classify pollen. Satellites also track the progress of pollen but do you know where to find this kind of information? I bet no, for this reason, I will tell you in a bit.
Remember, the first step is always quantifying the pollutants/allergens (pollen in this case) before mitigating them from indoor spaces. The reason is simple, once we have the proper information, we can take better decisions. For example, should I exercise outdoors today or go outside for some errands or is this the right moment to ventilate my house?
Quantifying air quality may sound complicated, but the only thing you have to do is to install an app or two and follow the guidelines they recommend you. Experts behind the apps have considerably worked to help you stay healthy and vital in the easiest way possible.
One example is DailyBreath. You can use it for free but you can also support the developers with a small contribution of $1 as they really have developed a unique app. The app takes data from multiple official sources but it also relies on the community of users who can contribute feedback about possible issues including in areas where pollen monitoring is not available.
Alternative apps are Breezometer, Allergy Plus, and for the advanced users Copernicus map.
Constant sneezing or in extreme but common cases being unable to breathe are some of the issues people with allergies experience. For this reason, for years people have been wearing N95 masks when outside (long before covid19) and staying indoors in an effort to avoid inhaling pollen.
Even indoors though if we don’t have the right filtration system (portable air purifiers or HVCA systems with good filters) we will experience the effects of pollen helplessly. Thankfully, technology allows us to capture pollen and other pollutants like PM2.5 from combustion engines or wood-burning effortlessly. Some great examples are; C360 by BRISE Care, HA500 by Healthy Air Technology, and Mila by Mila Cares.
A good quality HEPA filter is mandatory in an air purifier. There are other technologies that don’t use HEPA filters, like TPA, ions, etc. I have never tested them, so I won’t recommend them either.
Pollen particles are bigger in size than the notorious toxic PM2.5. Here is an image I designed for you to understand better with the help of the real pollen scans by MorphoSource and Oliver Wilson.