Dear Tom,

How do you arrive at the mold spores pollen count taken each day?

Frances Vaca Bartlett

Dear Frances,

The mold and pollen numbers that are reported daily are provided by Loyola Medicine under the direction of Dr. Rachna Shah from air samples taken in Melrose Park on the roof of the Gottlieb Professional Building. Pollen samples are gathered every weekday morning (during allergy season, March to October). Pollen grains and spores for various allergens including grass, tree, weed, ragweed, and mold are collected from a cubic meter sample of air and counted under a microscope. Typically, tree pollen is the first to arrive in the spring, followed by grass and weed, with ragweed emerging in late summer and fall. Mold is present year-round, but peaks in the dampness of spring and fall.