Large Amounts Of Allergenic Pollen Remain In The Air After Rain

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Large Amounts Of Allergenic Pollen Remain In The Air After Rain
Large Amounts Of Allergenic Pollen Remain In The Air After Rain

Video: Large Amounts Of Allergenic Pollen Remain In The Air After Rain

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Large amounts of allergenic pollen remain in the air after rain

Experts do not recommend that allergy sufferers walk in the rain and immediately after it during the pollen season.

Large amounts of allergenic pollen remain in the air after rain
Large amounts of allergenic pollen remain in the air after rain

Photo: CC0 Public Domain

The idea that rain washes pollen out of the air and helps alleviate symptoms in hay fever sufferers is wrong. A new study, published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters, has shown that heavy rain can increase the amount of airborne particles harmful to allergy sufferers.

The scientists measured the amount of pollen in the air during and after a spring rain. It turned out that its particles can remain in the air up to 11 hours after rain. According to scientists, this is an underestimated danger for allergy sufferers and asthmatics.

The study authors found two independent effects of rain on pollen. It turned out that rain, as expected, promotes the deposition of whole pollen. On the other hand, the amount of pollen fragments in the air increased during the rain.

“People sensitive to pollen should avoid walking during pollen season in the rain, especially during thunderstorms, and for the next several hours,” said Elizabeth Stone, a professor at the University of Iowa.

It was previously known that large grains of pollen at high humidity can break down into smaller "sub-pollen particles". It is also known that such particles can rise to the clouds and descend with raindrops and downdrafts.

Pollen fragments are significantly lighter than whole pollen grains, so they are easier to stay in the air. But no one has ever measured how long they can last there. In a new study, scientists have presented for the first time direct evidence of the presence of large amounts of these particles in the air after rain.

The study was conducted in April and May 2019. Over the course of two months, Iowa had 28 rainy days, violent storms and tornadoes were recorded.

Scientists found that the peak in the amount of sub-pollen particles occurred during the rain and the first minutes after it. Further, their concentration began to decrease rapidly, but a small amount of them remained in the air for hours.

The highest amounts of sub-pollen particles that can cause severe symptoms in sensitive individuals were found in the air after thunderstorms.

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