Meteorological Agency says pollen will come later than normal


The Japan Meteorological Agency announced Thursday that Japanese cedar trees will begin releasing pollen into the air around mid-February, later than the most recent 10-year average.

Last year, pollen counts reached record levels, but the agency has forecast this year’s total to be between 30–70% of that. The agency added, however, that parts of northern and central Japan may experience a worse-than-average allergy season.

The agency advised that hot days, and sunny days following rain will bring out the worst allergy response among the general population.

There still remains some concern about radioactive cedar pollen in Fukushima Prefecture.

In December, high radiation levels of more than 250,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium were detected in male flowers of Japanese cedar trees in the restricted zone around the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries collected male Japanese cedar flowers from 87 locations throughout Fukushima Prefecture between late November and early December to measure radioactive cesium levels.

A ministry spokesperson said 253,000 becquerels of cesium per kilogram were detected in the flowers collected from Namie, 11.3 kilometers from the stricken plant. The ministry also said that levels exceeded 10,000 becquerels per kilogram at 29 different locations.

According to the forestry ministry, 20% of Fukushima Prefecture is forested and contains approximately 185,000 hectares of cedar trees.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of the Environment said that during the pollen season, the peak level of pollen grains in the air has been measured at 2,297 per cubic meter.

The ministry claimed that if nearby residents were to inhale this concentration of pollen for four months, they would be exposed to 0.553 microsieverts of radiation. However, the ministry added that this does not constitute a great health risk, as it amounts to roughly 10 times the background radiation level in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward.

© Japan Today

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0 ( +0 / -0 )

I still find it hard to believe that this nasty species has not been massed culled via an act of law and replaced with other trees. Its not like they grew in such numbers naturally. So many were planted as an answer to deforestation after the war. And its a great example of how the Japanese disdain for variety has brought a blight upon them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Regardless of where and in what shape and form radiation shows up -it never really constitutes any health risk according to our trustworthy government....what a relief ..we can all go back to watching our variety shows now.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

this is bad, it's damned if you do and damned if you don't do anything about this cedar pollen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyone else remember our great leader Ishihara's campaign a few years ago to rid us of this blight? There were posters all over the subways of him standing, fist aloft, pledging to eradicate the problem. I bet there was a big budget for this campaign, but it seems nothing ever came of it once the money was, erm, "spent".

It's nice to know some things remain constant in this uncertain world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes! Another year spending the beautiful spring indoors!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm in my bed with a dose of flu, drinking honey, lemon and ginger. Sure glad I don't suffer from hay fever but radioactive hay fever, that's bad, and depending on the wind, could travel far. Everyone needs to mask up this spring?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

However, the ministry added that this does not constitute a great health risk

Oh, well that's a great consolation. Now we can relax. It's not like we've been misinformed up to now, is it?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

They print this same article every year.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I will use my inspector Geiger counter to keep tabs on pollen when it settles and post it here when appropriate and related to the article.

I am still finding hot spots, especially near flat roof drainage areas.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cut the trees

0 ( +0 / -0 )

disillusioned, did you bother reading the article? This year pollen will hit later and at a lower level. As a person who suffers from hay fever, this is good news.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's really a great news. This year pollen will come later. Actually, allergies are caused by substances such as pollen, mold etc.. Nowadays, many people have the problem of headaches and jitteriness.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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