February 01, 2010

News Release

For Immediate Release

Health Department Receives Pollen Count Accreditation

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has provided pollen data to the community, news media sources, meteorologists and physicians since 1961. The pollen data that will be reported this year will be more accurate and reliable since the health department laboratory services have undergone an accreditation process certified by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). The National Allergy Bureau is the section of the AAAAI that reports pollen and mold levels to the public. Rhizza Adams, Laboratory Scientist, received certification as a pollen and mold counter after attending meticulous training and completing a series of tests with the National Allergy Bureau (NAB). NAB provides the most accurate and reliable pollen and mold levels from counting stations throughout the United States. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is now designated as a certified pollen counting station and joins major metropolitan areas throughout the United States in providing the highest standard of collection and analysis in pollen reporting.

"We are pleased to announce this accreditation to report the most accurate and reliable certified pollen count using the Burkard spore collection equipment. This equipment along with this accreditation improves our reporting mechanism and uses the best tools and knowledge available," says Machelle Petit, Senior Laboratory Scientist.

Pollen season is quickly approaching and collections will begin as soon as weather permits. All data will be reported on the Springfield-Greene County Health Department's website at www.springfieldmo.gov/health by 10:30 am daily. Members of the community including media, meteorologists and physicians should access pollen and mold data through the reporting mechanism on the site. The initiation of collection will be announced to the community through a statement to the media.

For more information or questions about pollen or mold collection and reporting, please contact Rhizza Adams at the Springfield-Greene County Health Department at 417-864-1671.

For more information, contact: Katie Towns-Jeter, Public Information Specialist, 417-864-1149 (office), 417-536-0785 (cell) or, by email: ktownsjeter@springfieldmo.gov.

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Harold K. Bengsch Building

227 E. Chestnut Expwy. • Springfield, MO 65802
417-864-1658 • health.springfieldmo.gov