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Grab the tissues: Experts say Tri-State mold count is highest so far this summer

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CINCINNATI -- Are you sniffling, sneezing and wiping your eyes more so than usual?

Experts at the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency say there's a reason.

Mold count in the Tri-State reached the highest levels of the summer Monday, according to Air Quality Agency Public Relations Coordinator Megan Hummel. And pollen levels have also risen.

According to the agency, which serves Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties, the current mold count in the region is 5222 -- which is in the “very high” category. Pollen has risen to 31 -- placing it in the moderate category.

"Our mold count has risen because of recent hot and humid weather," Hummel said. "While that mold number is pretty typical for our summers, it is the highest it has been this season."

Mold counts are measured in spores per cubic meter of air. Pollen levels are measured in grains per cubic meter of air.

During the business week, the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency measures the daily levels of naturally occurring airborne pollutants like pollens and molds.

On Friday, Aug. 9, mold levels reached 2405 -- and that number more than double by Monday.

For those that suffer from mold and pollen allergies, that means breathing outdoors might get a little more uncomfortable.

"They will get more symptoms, but there's a few good things they can do to alleviate them," Hummel said.

Hummel said if you're working in the yard or your garden, it's important to clean your clothes and take a shower when you return indoors. That will help you keep mold and pollen out of your home.

Residents with questions can call the Air Quality Pollen and Mold Hotline at 513-946-7753. The hotline is updated each day at 10 a.m. with pollen and mold counts of the previous 24-hour period.

You can also visit http://www.southwestohioair.org/air-quality-data/pollen-mold.html

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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