New Pollen Monitoring Sites Up at Chermside and Mutdapilly

Video Still Credit: TheQUTube / YouTube

New pollen monitoring sites have been set up at the Prince Charles Hospital at Chermside and Mutdapilly, as part of an expanded pollen forecast network. In a related development, the official Brisbane Pollen forecast by Queensland University of Technology researchers has been made available to help individuals suffering from hayfever and seasonal asthma.

Pollens from subtropical grass flowers around the Brisbane region, which peaks sometime throughout summer, can cause hay fever which can lead to an asthma attack. The new Brisbane Pollen forecasting model provides daily reading and six-day forecast at its website and via a free smartphone appForecast scale ranges from low to extreme and will serve as a forewarning to people suffering from allergies and seasonal asthma.

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Brisbane Pollen Count and Forecast / brisbanepollen.com.au

Pollen measurements are taken daily from the Department of Environment and Science (DES) air quality monitoring station at Rocklea. Trapped pollen grains are analysed to measure the amount of pollen grains per cubic metre of air. The data from the pollen monitoring site is combined with data from NASA’s Terra satellite MODIS and the NASA-US Geological Survey Landsat satellite, to come up with a forecast.

There are also new pollen monitoring sites — one at the Prince Charles Hospital, Chermside and the other one at Mutdapilly — that have been set up in collaboration, with DES and Metro North Hospital and Health Services. These monitoring sites currently are used for research but will in the future become part of the pollen forecast network that will provide a wider coverage around South East Queensland.

QUT Brisbane pollen forecast to help allergy sufferers

Video Credit: TheQUTube / YouTube

Moreover, Professor Janet Davies, QUT Allergy Research Group head, said that they also have phenology cameras taking time-lapse photographs that shows grass growths and flowering on the areas surrounding the pollen monitoring site. The images will be used to enhance the pollen forecasting model.

Brisbane Pollen Count and Forecast is part of Australia-wide, multi-centre NHMRC AusPollen Partnership led by Professor Davies. The Partnership aims to provide accurate and localised information on pollen count, as well as an alert system for allergy and asthma patients.

“With the information provided by the pollen count people can be forewarned and take protective measures on expected high pollen days — avoid being outside or hanging out washing, keeping their home and car windows closed, and taking preventative medications such as antihistamines,” Professor Janet Davies said.

“People who experience severe hayfever or a cough, tight chest or breathing difficulties during the pollen season should seek medical advice, as they may have undiagnosed asthma.

“And those with asthma should ensure they have an up-to-date asthma action plan and are ready to respond should they have breathing difficulties,” she said.