Greenhouse Canada

Cross-country allergy audit underway

April 20, 2012  By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Apr. 20, 2012, Toronto — There's a battle of the sexes taking place in the plant world and the more than nine million Canadians who suffer from seasonal allergies are its unwitting victims.

In recent decades, cities across North America have favoured pollen-producing male bushes, trees and plants so that cities can avoid having to clean up the seeds and fruit produced by pollen-collecting female plants. This practice drives up pollen counts in urban areas, which subsequently affects allergy symptoms.


Now the makers of Reactine have commissioned horticulturist and allergy-friendly gardening expert Thomas Leo Ogren to study Canadian urban landscaping practices. Ogren developed the Ogren Plant Allergy Scale (OPALSTM), the world's first classification system that indicates the allergy potential of thousands of plants, flowers and trees. 

Ogren is travellng across Canada, evaluating allergen levels and planting practices. Data collected during the trip will provide the basis for a coast-to-coast urban allergy audit: PolleNation. This audit will help Canadians understand the pollen proliferators in their region, when they are most active and the steps they can take to best manage their seasonal allergy symptoms.

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