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Hello, Hamilton County

July 2005

Allergy Season

Warmer weather means allergy season is upon us and for many, sneez- ing and itchy eyes comes to mind.

An allergy is an abnormal reaction to a very small amount of a specific substance, very often mold or pollen. Allergic rhinitis or hay fever afflicts almost 36 million people in the United States seasonally. People react differently to allergens, but some of the common symptoms are runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. Those suffering through these symp- toms for more than seven days are probably suffering from allergies.

Tree and grass pollens are some of the most common southwest Ohio allergens and can be almost impossible escape. Oak, cedar, mulberry, maple, elm, poplar, box elder, and grasses are the most prevalent sources of pollen in southwest Ohio from late March through mid-July. After this time, ragweed, the most allergenic plant of North America, blooms from August through October. Mold spores are also in full swing all summer and can even be found indoors year-round. All of these air- borne allergens can send you into sinus misery.

There is hope for allergy sufferers. DoItYourself.com offers some easy things to do to help manage seasonal allergies during the warmer months.

Allergy Alert Tips

  • 1.

    Stay indoors early in the morning and on sunny, breezy days, when the pollen levels are highest.

  • 2.

    Keep windows shut at home and in the car, and run the air condi- tioner.

  • 3.

    Avoid outdoor tasks, like mowing the lawn, that can stir up pollens.

  • 4.

    Wash your hair and change your clothing at night because pollen clings to hair and clothing and can wind up on your pillow and sheets.

  • 5.

    Clean and service air conditioning units to remove pollen and other trapped allergens.

  • 6.

    Keep an eye on your family’s allergy signs and symptoms; many people assume that they just have a cold and ignore the warning signs that can help them reduce their allergies.

  • 7.

    For children with dust allergies, avoid stuffed toys; use only wash- able toys of wood, rubber, metal or plastic.

  • 8.

    Be prepared. Before allergy season begins, see your doctor for the most appropriate therapy, such as a nasal steroid spray, so that your treatment plan is ready for the beginning of pollen season.

More tips and information can be found in the Department of Environ- mental Services’ Living With Allergies brochure, which is available free to the public. The brochure explains more about allergies, their causes, and how to help ease their discomfort. For a free copy, call 946.7747. You can also view the brochure and other publications at www.hcdoes.org.

To keep track of the daily pollen and mold counts, call the Pollen and Mold Hotline, 946.4453.

New coordinate guides group to creative solutions for cleaner air

The Tri-State Clean Fuels Network (TSCFN) welcomes Kim Lahman as the organization’s new coordinator. Through her years of leadership experience in diverse venues, and effectively working within the public sector, she will guide the voluntary group comprised of auto manufacturers, equipment providers, public and private fleet managers, government agencies, fuel providers and universities, who are dedicated to increasing the use of clean fuels and vehicles in Southwest Ohio, Southeast Indiana and Northern Kentucky.

A program of the Department of Environmental Services, TSCFN is designated as a Clean Cities coalition joining a network of over 80 across the nation. Clean Cities is a program of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Led by a steering committee of public and private enti- ties, the TSCFN is committed to improving air quality and strengthening our economy while decreasing our depend- ence on petroleum for transportation. The members ex- plore and promote solutions, such as the use of ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas, propane, hybrid electric vehicles, hydrogen and diesel idle reduction. While creating effec- tive collaboration through local and regional partnerships, the TSCFN members provide education to the general public, businesses, and policy-makers, as well as endorse the development of infrastructure to support the use of new, clean and renewable fuels.

To learn more on how to get involved in the use and pro- motion of creative solutions to clean our air while reduc- ing our dependence on foreign fuels, contact Kim Lah- man, 946.7772, kim.lahman@hamilton-co.org, or visit www.cleancitiescincinnati.org.

50% discount on Reds tickets

Hamilton County employees can now access information about purchasing Reds tickets at a 50 percent dis- counted price by going to the county’s Intranet site lo- cated at http://hcnet/xpersonnel and clicking on the link that is marked “Employee Discounts.”

Information pertaining to all county employee discounts is listed at this website.


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