Updates from Environmental Experts

What Do You Know About Pollen Data?

Ohad Zadok
Pollen Map Europe

When some people think about pollen, they might think about seasonal allergies, hay fever, etc. Some people will associate pollen with terrible sneezing fits, itchy eyes, runny noses, lost productivity at work, sick days, even asthma attacks.

People who don’t have allergies to pollen, the grains produced by male flowers as part of the fertilization process, are likely unaware of its presence as pollen seasons come and go. But if any of your customers are among the 50 million people in the US alone who suffer from allergies, then please, listen up, and learn about what you can do to help. A quick note - this is good for your business’s bottom line and for your user engagement, too.

Introducing the world’s first, real-time global pollen API

As part of BreezoMeter’s mission to improve the health of billions of people around the world by helping them understand what is in the air they breathe, we understood that it’s not just harmful air pollutants that people are exposed to that affect their health. Pollen in the air has real health effects on those who are sensitive to it, including serious implications such as triggering asthma attacks, subsequent hospitalizations, and more.

The pollen-allergy market in the US alone is estimated at some $18 billion annually, in part reflecting sales of pharmaceutical remedies to help people cope with symptoms caused by pollen, partially reflecting the lost productivity endured by companies whose employees need to take sick days, and additionally, associated medical costs.
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Given our experience in the arena of air pollution data and understanding of air dispersion models, pollutants and related health effects, we knew it was time to harness pollen data to create and advance a product that would help people smartly reduce their exposure to pollen, not just air pollutants which affect all people who breathe, from small children, to older adults, athletes and commuters. We heard from our customers and potential partners that pollen was something that mattered to their clients and would make a difference in their product value propositions, bottom lines, customer engagement opportunities and more. As BreezoMeter does, we listened and got to work.

The Difference Between Pollen and Other Air Pollutants

While pollen is similar in some ways to other air pollutants, particularly particulate matter, it is often much bigger than the PM2.5 and PM10 pollutants that are among the 6 main pollutants that affect human health. Pollen is a biologic component as opposed to a byproduct of combustion processes (indoor heating, wildfires), power plants, or mechanical processes (construction, mineral dust). There are other biological aerosols in the PM2.5 category as well, such as some viruses and bacteria. Different from these smaller PM2.5 and PM10 pollutants, pollen isn’t small enough to get into the blood stream, but it does get into airways and acts as an irritant that can set off a chain of allergic and asthmatic reactions.

If you’re interested in learning more about the difference between air pollution and pollen, please check out this blog post, dedicated to exactly that topic.

The Challenges of Pollen Data

Pollen, unlike air pollution, is not regulated by governments, and is therefore not measured as ubiquitously as various air pollutants are. That said, not all air pollutants are measured everywhere, given the expense of monitoring stations – this is where BreezoMeter’s air pollution data is a huge improvement, since it layers additional data sources, filling in gaps, making air pollution more accurate and relevant to end users. Pollen is very complicated to measure and forecast, and traditionally the methods have been manual and infrequent, not to mention not location based – at best on the city level – and not representative of more far reaching current conditions.

Your products can be an integrated part of a real solution.

Pollen affects people’s health immediately, so providing relevant data to your customers that is relevant is imperative.
BreezoMeter has created a unique pollen API in order to address these issues and bring your customers the relevant, location-based, real-time and forecast pollen data they need to improve their health.

BreezoMeter’s global pollen API uses a novel approach that includes vegetation land cover data, plant-typical values for pollen seasonality, and annual pollen production capacity. Additionally, the integrated algorithm includes pollen counts from monitoring stations, existing regional models and proprietary pollen emission models.

The algorithm integrates numerous data sources and models into a single, complete model, that covers to-date 45 countries, including the USA, Japan, and much of Europe.Integrate BreezoMeter Pollen Data today

What Can You Do with Integrated Pollen Data?

  • Show your customers when pollen levels are expected to be high.
  • Notify your customer when they might be exposed to risky pollen levels
  • See where pollen levels are high with our high resolution pollen heatmaps
  • Increase engagement by giving your customers real data that can improve their lives

Innovative Features Available in the Global Pollen API

  • Global Coverage: Pollen data for USA, Japan and Europe
  • Current conditions:Up to 10 different pollen species
  • 3-day forecast: Pollen types and plants data
  • Pollen heatmaps: Color-coded heatmaps shows how dynamic pollen data is, per species
  • Location-based: Know the pollen conditions in high resolution - not just per city

Help your customers track their allergies with more than 10 different pollen types.
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