Health & Wellness

Rutgers Predicts Record Ragweed Season

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Ragweed season has begun in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area with the sighting of the first grain of pollen on August 17 by Leonard Bielory, M.D., National Allergy Bureau-certified pollen counting station and a specialist in allergy and immunology with the Rutgers Center of Environmental Prediction at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

The major release started on Aug. 20 and will continue for the next 48 hours. “While this has been the latest onset we have seen over the past five years, the peak will be quite high in the coming weeks due to the heavy rain precipitation we have had over the summer,” said Bielory.
The effect of weather patterns have a strong impact on pollination, leading to “three out of four Americans who have allergies being allergic to ragweed pollen,” he explains.

Ragweed pollination is expected to continue until the first frost, so not good news for allergy sufferers.
The monitoring of the pollen count that Bielory performs on a daily basis appears to be consistent with his research that climate change weather patterns affecting pollen release. He and researchers at Rutgers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have been part of an ongoing study, funded in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Sign Up for E-News

A changing climate means allergy-causing ragweed pollen has a longer season that extends further north than it did just 16 years ago and in New Jersey appears to be increasing in duration of exposure. According to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Bielory and other allergy experts found that ragweed pollen season lasted as much as 27 days longer in 2009 than it did in 1995, with increasing range northward resulting in a more dramatic the change in the length of pollen season. Allergies associated with ragweed pollen—3 out of 4 Americans who are allergic have ragweed allergies, also known as hay fever— costs about $21 billion a year in the U.S.

This was once a hypothesis and modeled as a possibility, “but it is a reality,” said Bielory, who was the principal investigator of the EPA grant. “This is affecting patients now.” 
Ragweed is not the only pollen season affected, said Bielory, as the study has shown the impact on tree and grass pollen seasons that occur in the early and late spring. An examination of other species and other regions of the continental United States is ongoing.


As global average temperatures have warmed, the first frost has been delayed, especially at higher latitudes, which has meant a longer season for ragweed. “Because warming is greater at these high latitudes, the length of the season has been more pronounced.”


In New Jersey, the season appears to have increased over the past 20 years. Hot and dry weather in source areas aid the release of ragweed pollen during the flowering season and result in the deep distribution needed to lift the pollen over the greater dispersion.


"Allergies that have been minor in the past are going to increase and become more of a clinical problem that may also impact patients with asthma.” 
 Email info@nynjpollen.com for more information. For actual pollen counts, visit www.nynjpollencount.com.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montclair

Essex County Passes Resolution Proposed by Freeholder Toro To Encourage Vendors To Hire Locally

December 13, 2017

NEWARK, NJ – During an Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders Board meeting at Maplewood Town Hall, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders passed a Resolution “Establishing The County Of Essex Aspirational Goal Initiative To Increase The Participation Of A Diverse And Qualified Essex County Workforce In County Projects.”

Amid new reports from the New York Times ...

Student Activists Disrupt Rutgers Board of Trustees, Call for Minimum Wage Increase

December 13, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Dozens of students activists interrupted the Rutgers Board of Trustees December 12 meeting as part of their campaign for a campus-wide $15 minimum wage.

Many of them chanted slogans such as “If we don’t get it, shut it down,” and “We want just, and power, and 15 an hour.” Others hel​d​ up signs which ​simply ​read ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, December 14

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Thu, December 14, 12:00 PM

Montclair Art Museum, Montclair

Philemona Williamson: Metaphorical Narratives ...

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, December 14, 12:00 PM

Montclair Art Museum, Montclair

Charles E. Burchfield: Weather Event September ...

Arts & Entertainment

Reader More Offended by Comments Against President, than Cheeky Cow Logo

December 11, 2017

Compared to a cartoonish image of a cow with a big butt‎, I'm much more offended by Ms. Tingle's baseless smear of the President of the United States as a "sexual predator." I assume because she didn't name him and he's a public figure, it's OK to publish what otherwise would be considered libel. 

Ironically, although what Ms. Tingle wrote is likely ...

Montclair Police Blotter: Holiday Decorations Stolen, Theft Through Unlocked Doors and More

December 13, 2017

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The following blotter was issued by the Motclair Police Department on December 12, 2018.

Arrest:

12-06-2017 (Glenridge Avenue) Mr. Jamal Liggins, 38yoa from Montclair, was arrested and charged with Disorderly persons for being intoxicated in the street and refusing to comply with officers. 

12-06-2017 (Bloomfield Avenue) Mr. Savon Hayles, 27yoa from Montclair, ...

'An Act of God' takes a leap of faith at George Street

‘An Act of God’ takes leap of faith at George Street Playhouse

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – If anyone can portray God, it must be Kathleen Turner. Local theatre goers are fortunate indeed, to have the throaty, stage smart Turner in our midst.

Turner, of course, is not only an acclaimed actress, but a female God with plenty to say about the ups and downs of religion ...

Rep. Pascrell: House Considers Bill to Name Post Office for NJ Hero

December 13, 2017

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09) took to the House floor Tuesday in support of H.R. 2815 (Lance, NJ-07), legislation he cosponsored to name a post office in Raritan, New Jersey, after John Basilone. In 2003, Rep. Pascrell led an effort in the House to have Basilone recognized with a postage stamp. The Postal Service announced a ...