To measure the tiny airborne irritants called pollen, staff in the Hematology Department at Waterbury Hospital use an instrument called a Burkard sampler that's installed on the roof of the building.
Every weekday, someone goes up to the roof to remove a greased slide that's been rotating on the sampler for 24 hours and brings it back to the lab where the slide is stained.
"We look at the slide under a microscope and count the pollen grains, then do a calibration of grains per cubic meter," JoAnn Neddermann, clinical lab scientist at the pollen counting station, said Friday.
The station, operating at Waterbury Hospital since 1986, is the only one in Connecticut certified by the National Allergy Bureau. It collects pollen counts from April 1 to Oct. 1.
For daily pollen counts, visit www.aaaai.org/global/nab-pollen-counts.aspx.
- Judy Benson
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