11:35 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Meet The Man Behind Kansas City's Pollen Count

Dr. Charles Barnes, director of research for Children's Mercy's allergy, asthma, and immunology department, is the man behind the pollen count for Kansas City.
Cody Newill KCUR

Every morning, Dr. Charles Barnes treks up to the roof of Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., to pull a collection slide out of the hospital's spore trap, a small machine consisting of a vacuum pump and wind main.

The little plastic slide may not look like much, but it provides an accurate pollen count for the entire Kansas City metro area.

"We've had this same technology and process for the last 24 years," Barnes says. "It's really pretty simple."

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Central Standard
3:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Counting Kansas City's Pollen

Charles Barnes in his laboratory at Children's Mercy.
Credit Cody Newill / KCUR

On Wednesday's Central Standard, we speak with the person who can explain why you've been sneezing more than usual. Charles Barnes tells us everything we ever wanted to know about pollen, especially how much of it is floating through our air.


  • Charles Barnes, Director of the Allergy and Immunology Laboratory at Children's Mercy Hospital
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2:39 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Why Your Allergies Seem To Be Worse This Year In Kansas City

Pollen from trees and other plants hit an all-time-high in Kansas City about two weeks ago.
Credit Emily Whitty / Submitted photo

If your allergies seem more severe this year in Kansas City, you're not alone.

That's according to Dr. Jay Portnoy, who leads the allergy and asthma department at Children's Mercy Hospital.

"We've been tracking pollen for 15 years in the Kansas City area and over that time, the pollen count has been slowly increasing," Portnoy says. "Each year is getting a little bit worse."  

On Thursday, Portnoy explained to Up To Date Host Steve Kraske that the day's tree pollen count was only 529, but two weeks ago, it hit an all-time high of 9,000.

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Up To Date
10:36 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Fighting Off Allergies

Pollen is just one of the perpetrators of seasonal allergies, as 'Up to Date' host Steve Kraske well knows.
Credit Brooke Novak / Flickr-CC

There's one topic that keeps on giving year after year: allergies. From seasonal, to year-round, gluten to peanuts, allergies affect over 65 million people in the United States alone.

In the first segment of Thursday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske discusses all things mold, pollen, and food protein with Dr. Jay Portnoy​, who heads the allergy and asthma department at Children's Mercy Hospital.


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Up to Date
5:29 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Allergies: Indoor, Outdoor & Everywhere

Allan Foster

With the temperatures soaring this week, spring has burst onto the scene… and that means lots of pollen

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