Every year during allergy season (March 1st – October 15th) the Air Quality Management Section (AQM) collects and reports pollen and mold counts three days a week. The report includes a color-coded rating chart that shows the level of hay fever and asthma symptoms that may be related to pollen exposures.
How It’s Done
The mold and pollen sample collector is located on the roof of the Air and Waste Management Division’s offices at Grantham Lane, just south of the City of New Castle. Samples are collected on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Then, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, Michael McDowell, a Laboratory Technician with AQM, climbs to the roof, collects the sample, takes it back to the AQM Lab, and determines the count by looking through a microscope. Once the count is completed, he posts the information in two places:
- the DNREC Air and Waste Management Division’s Pollen Count web page, and
- The National Allergy Bureau’s web page. Both Mike McDowell and the AQM Lab are certified by the National Allergy Bureau to count for pollen and mold spores and that count is the only posting on the national web page for Delaware.
The National Allergy Bureau (NAB) is the section of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s Aeroallergen Network that is responsible for reporting current pollen and mold spore levels to the public.
Currently, there are 78 counting stations in the United States and three in Canada. AAAAI is a U.S.-based professional medical specialty organization that represents allergists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in treating and researching diseases such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, atopic dermatitis/eczema and anaphylaxis.
For more information on pollen and mold, check NAB’s list of pollen and mold-related web sites. NAB also provides a pollen and mold photo gallery .
For information specific to pollen and mold in Delaware, please visit the Division’s Pollen Count page, and Delaware Pollen and Mold Photo Gallery, or contact:
715 Grantham Lane
New Castle, Delaware 19720