Pollen Indicator

You are looking at a pollen indicator. The pollen indicator shows optically which and how much pollen is in the air right now.

Horizontally, on the running display at the top of the indicator, the exact current number of pollen is shown. The display shows which pollen is being shown, for instance “Birch” and the current concentration of these pollen in the air. After a short period, the next pollen is shown, for instance Alnus and the current concentration of these Alnus pollen in the air, and so on. If a certain pollen type is not shown, there are less than 10 pollen/m3 of that type in the air.

Vertically, the number of pollen is also shown (20-40-60-80 pollen/m3), but color coded, with a maximum of 100 pollen/m3 (red). This is similar to the expected allergy symptoms level. Green means few individuals with little symptoms are expected, red means many allergic individuals with strong symptoms. Of course, this depends on whether a person is allergic to this pollen at all, and if the immune system of this person is more or less sensitive. There is a large variability between individuals in allergic symptoms after exposure to the same number of pollen. Vertically, the color coding means that few (green, up to 30 pollen/m3), intermediate (yellow, up to 80 pollen/m3) or much pollen (red, >80 pollen/m3) are in the air. Please note, that from about 100 pollen/m3 air, no matter how high the counts, all individuals allergic to this pollen are expected to react, i.e. above 100 pollen/m3 it does not matter anymore. Thus, all concentrations above 100 pollen/m3 are red (maximum symptoms expected). Horizontally the number can then still increase.

You can see for instance a red color for oak pollen. That means that 80-100 or more oak pollen/m3 are in the air, however only oak pollen allergic individuals will notice symptoms.

The indicator is NOT a measuring instrument. It is connected on-line to a pollen measuring instrument at Munich, Biedersteinerstrasse 29 (München  Schwabing). The measuring instrument provides the exact number of pollen, the indicator “translates” this in a visual signal. Pollen show a general distribution, i.e. if we measure many pollen in Munich, Biederstein, there will be also many pollen on other locations over Munich.

The pollen indicator connects to a newly, only in Bavaria, Germany, installed pollen monitoring network ePIN (electronic Pollen Information Network). This network is the first network in the world that monitors on-line the current pollen concentrations. Both, the pollen indicator and the ePIN Network are world-wide the first of their kind ever shown.

The Pollen Indicator was planned by ZAUM - Center of Allergy & Environment (Prof. Dr. J. Buters) of the Technical University Munich with kind financial support by Allergopharma GmbH & Co. KG, Reinbek, Germany, and EAACI. The design was made by KesselsGranger DesignWorks, Genk, Belgium.

The Network ePIN was also designed by ZAUM, and was realized by the LGL (Bayerisches Landesamt für Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit). The automatic pollen monitors are from Helmut Hund GmbH, Wetzlar, Germany.