Aug 8, 2023 - News

Everett clocks worst pollen levels on West Coast

Illustration of a pattern of tissue boxes.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Everett ranks as this year's pollen capital of the West Coast, according to a recent report from online allergy clinic Wyndly.

Why it matters: The lengthening allergy season nationwide is tied to climate change, with big health ramifications for the roughly one-quarter of Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies — and for respiratory health more broadly.

Driving the news: Everett's spring pollen count increased by 54% from 3,489 parts per million in 2022 to 5,386 ppm in 2023, per the Wyndly study. During Everett's worst pollen month, April, it had an average allergen level of 3,257 ppm, roughly twice as high as the national average of about 1,600 ppm.

  • Seattle's worst month this year was in May, when the pollen count came in at 1,998 ppm.
  • The study tracked the three most common allergens — weed, tree and grass — in more than 300 cities around the country over 16 months.

Details: The Puget Sound region has a comparatively high density of trees, including cedar, juniper, alder, elm, maple, birch and cottonwood, compared to other tracts along the West Coast, Wyndly CEO and co-founder Aakash Shah told Axios. That can set up a perfect storm for allergy sufferers, he said.

The intrigue: But why is Everett's pollen count so much higher than Seattle's, we asked Shah.

  • "It could simply come down to Seattle's pollen blowing out over the water this year and Everett's blowing over land," he said.

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