Allergic to Spring? In this week’s infographic, we visualize the realities and myths of the pollen calendars of the main allergenic species in Chile.
Given the high pollen levels that reach the cities of central and central-southern Chile during the spring, allergies are a recurrent topic in the news and newspapers especially during the months of September and October. Here is a different representation about what we are used to seeing. In the infographic of this week, only some of the most characteristic allergenic tree and herb species (1) found in the regions between Valparaiso and Magallanes are included, with accompanying information about the pollen calendars (2) to construct a more complete view of the critical periods for allergy sufferers based on their location.
(1) Information obtained from the newspaper publication La Tercera, “Alergias: Esta Semana Comienzan los Niveles Peak de Polen en la Capital” (Allergies: This week the peak pollen levels begin in the Capital) Sept. 10, 2013 in Tendencias (Trends) p.36. This publication includes data for the following species: Birch, Sorrel, Ambrosia, Maple, Walnut, common grass, Plane trees and Olive.
(2) Information obtained from Red de Monitoreo Polínico (Pollen Monitoring Network), Pollen Calendar. (2015)<http://www.polenes.cl/sitio/calendariopolinico.asp>.
From the infographic it is possible, for example, to follow the progress of the pollination periods of species such as the Maple or Olive tree in the southern part of the country, which determines that the allergy period extends, in practice, through the last months of summer. It is important to note that pollen levels in the air are measured in grains per cubic meter (gr/m3). These are considered high when they exceed 100 gr/m3 (and in the case of the Plane tree this level is high when it reaches 70 gr/m3). As a reference, in September this year the pollen levels reached 714 gr / m3 (3).
(3) Information obtained from Pura Noticia, “El Polen Marcará Niveles Críticos durante los Próximos Días” (Pollen will reach critical levels in the next few days) Oct. 21, 2015 <http://www.puranoticia.cl/noticias/tendencias/el-polen-marcara-niveles-criticos-durante-los-proximos-dias/2015-09-24/213643.html>.