The Grand Portage Reservation is at the northeastern tip of Minnesota. The Air Quality Program has many ongoing projects in order to maintain healthy indoor and outdoor air. These projects include monitoring for regional haze and particulate matter, indoor air quality, invasive plant removal, public outreach, environmental education, alternative energy, and climate change.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer Is Here but So Are Seasonal Allergies

Summer in Grand Portage is a wonderful time, filled with the fresh green foliage of millions of plants vying to grow and reproduce in the limited time available before the seasons change again. Unfortunately for many like me who suffer from seasonal allergies (commonly called hay fever) this explosion of greenery and pollen can turn a delightful summer day into a miserable fit of sneezing.

Allergic reactions are caused when the body’s immune system mistakes harmless pollen for an actual dangerous or toxic substance and reacts to fight it. Wind-borne pollen such as ragweed and certain grasses and trees are the most common culprits in allergy attacks. An estimated 26 million Americans suffer at least one incidence of hay fever every year. There are many over the counter medications that can treat hay fever symptoms, but many have side effects such as drowsiness. If symptoms continue for long periods you should consult a doctor.

There are things you can do if you suffer from allergies to reduce your exposure such as limiting outdoor activities during the hours of 5 – 10 AM when pollen counts are highest, keeping car windows closed, using HEPA air filters and vacuums in the home, brushing pets outside, and keeping rugs and carpets clean. If you are having a sneeze attack one method I have found to help is to rinse your mouth out well with water. If you have any questions on pollen or allergies please call me at 475-2415 ext. 35, e-mail me at or stop by my office at Trust Lands.

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