Pollen peak panic: Northern Netherlands turns red on pollen map

Pollen peak panic: Northern Netherlands turns red on pollen map

Eye redness, itching, sneezing and shortness of breath. Many hay fever patients know all about it. Bad news for them. North Holland will turn bright red on the pollen map in the coming days. Pollen flies around your ears, especially in the evening.

Pollen on your pillow

Maurice Martins, 76, doesn’t suffer from hay fever, but he knows all about it. The hay fever radar biologist blames rain for the pollen peak. North Holland in particular was often the loser. There has been a lot of rain there in recent weeks.

All this rain ensures that the grasses grow quickly and abundantly. Something Martens calls biomass. This is good for biodiversity, but less so for hay fever patients. When the rain stops, plants “pollinate” the air with pollen. Martens: “The more rainfall, the more biomass. The more biomass, the more pollen. The more pollen, the more hay fever.”

This affects approximately 700,000 residents of the North Netherlands, Martens estimates. The biologist offers some advice over the phone especially for them. It is better to go out in the morning, because there is less pollen. And shower in the evening. This way you rinse the pollen out of your hair and it doesn’t end up on your pillow.

Healthy planet

Is this an exceptional pollen year? According to Martins, this varies every year, but climate change plays a major role. “This increases the volatile nature of the weather. It rains heavily for a long time or there is a long drought.” As a result, sometimes there is a lot of pollen and sometimes none. Without a clear pattern.

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Martens concludes with a mysterious message. According to him, hay fever is a good indicator of a healthy planet. Although he realizes that most hay fever sufferers would rather get rid of their allergies than get rid of them, he hopes their allergies will last forever. “As long as we are lucky enough to live on a decent planet, hay fever will continue to exist.”

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