Understanding & Using Pollen Counts

Pollen and Mold

  • Pollen and mold are a fine to coarse powder made up of grains that are transferred among various trees, grasses, weeds and molds.
  • Allergens (allergic substances) can cause an allergic reaction because in some people, the immune system recognizes the pollen and molds as foreign.
  • Pollen is carried from one plant to another plant of the same kind, to fertilize the original plant with new seeds. This process is called pollination.

Pollen Counts

  • Pollen counts, which are usually reported along with the weather forecast, help millions of people who get hay fever (or seasonal allergic reactions) to plan their day because they are allergic to pollen or mold.
  • The pollen count tells how many grains of plant pollen are, or will be, in a certain amount of air during a specific period of time, usually 24 hours.
  • Pollen is carried to another plant of the same kind, to fertilize the forerunner of new seeds. This is called pollination.

The following Pollen Count Table provides pollen counts for low, moderate, high and very high pollen and mold levels

Pollen Count Table

Pollen Type Low Count Moderate Count High Count Very High Level
Number of sensitive people likely to be affected Only causes symptoms for very sensitive persons Many sensitive persons experience symptom Many persons with any sensitivity experience symptoms Almost all persons with any sensitivity experience symptoms.
Trees 1-14 15-89 90-1,499 1,500 +
Grass 1-4 5-19 20-199 200 +
Weeds 1-9 10-49 50-499 500+
Molds, or Spores 1-6,500 6,501-13,000    

Note:
Pollen count levels measured in Grains per cubic meter