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Aerobiology Research Weblog
'Blog

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We're blogging on Biology Online! 
We have been invited to be a contributor to the 'blog based website Biology Online. If all goes well we will be providing monthly or biweekly postings about general aerobiology topics. Come check us out!
http://www.biology-online.org

Below are some quick links for easy reference:

1st blog: Aerobiology
2nd blog: An Introduction to Aeroallergens
3rd blog: Aeroallergen Monitoring in Canada
4th blog: Where is spring and the pollen allergy season?
5th blog: The Pollen Season for 2014 – a Pollen Vortex?
6th blog: What's next for the allergy season?
7th blog: Fall and Winter Allergies
8th blog: Canadian system for outdoor air monitoring

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Outdoor pollen and fungal spore reports and interpretation 
Well I am finally doing another blog

I am getting a few questions as to why we are not showing numbers on our
reports.

The first point I need to clarify is that the numbers that were shown in
previous years on The Weather Network/MéteoMédia were forecasts for the
next day. This may not have been clear but realistically all forecasts
are exactly that and we would not have absolute numbers for what the
real pollen counts would be for the next day. Our reports were therefore forecasts just like weather forecasts.

Just to clarify and assist people who use our data when we show Low,
Moderate or High in our reports we are using a scale we created. To help
explain what this means in pollen levels I am providing an explanation of the scale. This is the scale:

LOW- 0-20 pollen grains per Cubic Meter of air
MODERATE- 21 to 80 pollen grains per Cubic Meter of air
HIGH- greater than 80 pollen grains per Cubic Meter of air

If an allergy sufferer is following the levels they can tell where the
pollen levels are at in the scale we are using. Allergies are unique
to each person so one can be primed to different levels for different
allergens before they react. Also allergens are different as to their
potency or allergic properties.

Another misconception is that a number of 100 pollen grains per Cubic
Meter of air is very different from a number of 400 pollen grains per
Cubic Meter of air. This may be true for certain people or allergens but
realistically a person would be reacting at either pollen levels the
same way.

We have done several years of research on forecasting and relating
weather to pollen counts so we could provide good reports to the public.
However this is a very young field when you compare it to weather
forecasting. We have a data base and predictive models that we use for
forecasting and creating any reports.

The reason why the reports were changed was due to the fact that since
we were providing forecasted numbers and not actual we could go to Low,
Moderate and High. All of the sites we have are very unique and
different just like people’s allergies. So it was decided to provide
more information on a wider variety of pollen for each site so people
could follow any allergen they had issues with.

The other emails we receive are about the lack of information on the
fungal spores. We, at Aerobiology Research, realize how significant
fungal spores are to allergy sufferers and that this information is
valuable. We have made it our goal to make sure that the fungal spores
will be available through a mobile app and/or web site possibly this year
and hopefully next season.

I would also like to add that other reports can be found on
Pharmaceutical companies’ web sites and/or mobile apps. These reports
also provide good information. It is important to recognize that these
companies who carry our reports are doing a great service to the
public. Without this support our company would not exist and people
would not be getting valuable information to help deal with their allergies.

Please keep the emails coming we like the input and we will clarify
questions that people have about our reports and also where they can be
found.

Frances

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Usefulnes of reports on pollen and fungal spores 
Ahh it is the end of the season for reporting and collecting samples at all of our sites across Canada.
Another year of producing reports for the public for phone applications, web sites and television.

I often wonder how useful the public find these reports. It's something that is asked every year and I would really like to have some idea if this information actually helps people or not. From the emails and phone calls that I get I feel that this is a very useful service we provide. We would not be doing this unless it was.

Our business is such that it depends on making these reports useful to the public that need this type of information to assist on improving their daily lives.

We get criticism some times from certain allergists that feel these reports are not good information and should not exist.

Well I would really like to know for our information and confirming my beliefs that people should have access to this type of information and use it in which ever way they wish. Particularly if it helps them understand better what the possible relationship is between what is happening with outdoor allergens and their reactions.

Sincerely

Frances



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