A comparison of regional atmospheric pollen with pollen collected at and near homes

Mary Kay O’Rourke, Michael D. Lebowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Three sampling techniques were used to determine how pollen concentrations obtained from atmospheric sampling devices compare to pollen concentrations in the home environment. Burkard pollen samplers were placed on rooftops at 4 locations in Tucson, Az. (USA) to sample regional atmospheric pollen; nearby, Rotorod® (rotorod) samplers collected atmospheric pollen in the home environment at 55 locations for 3 consecutive days during each season. Pollen concentrations from rotorod and Burkard traps show that pollen is rare inside homes and only occurs when pollen production is high. No differences in pollen concentration were found between rooms of any home, and frontyards generally had higher pollen concentrations than backyards. Pollen concentrations near homes were generally lower than regional pollen concentrations. Correlations were low even though pollen taxa were similar. Floor sweepings from homes contained pollen concentrations as high as 5.5 million pollen grains/g house dust. We conclude that little or no pollen gets inside houses through atmospheric transport. Pollen is most likely carried into the houses on the feet and bodies of people and pets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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