Hospital laboratory providing pollen, mold reports

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FARMINGTON — The Franklin Memorial Hospital Medical Laboratory has resumed providing pollen and mold level reports for the community as a public service. A sampling of airborne pollens and molds will be taken and read by trained technologists in the hospital’s lab, every day, now through November.

Reports include a health risk rating of low, medium, high or very high for levels for pollen and mold counts. Predominant species are identified in each report, allowing individuals to figure out which allergens they are most sensitive to by keeping track of when they are most affected.

Exposure to pollen and molds can increase asthma symptoms and trigger hay fever or seasonal allergy symptoms. Common symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, coughing and itchy, watery eyes; anyone who believes that they suffer from allergies should talk to their doctor about the best way to manage their condition.

“We are pleased to be able to offer this important service to our patients and the community,” said Suzanne O’Brien, laboratory director. “This information is useful to those who suffer from asthma and allergies and allows them to adjust their medications as needed.”

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According to O’Brien, Andrea Nurse of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine provided a very helpful, in-depth training for staff last year on collection procedures, identifying pollen and mold by size and shape as well as other characteristics and when species release pollen at different times throughout the growing season.

The pollen reports can be accessed at www.fchn.org/news and at www.dailybulldog.com/health. For more information, contact O’Brien at 779-2272.

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