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Re: More on Allergy-Free Gardening

As one who began suffering from allergy-related asthma after moving to the
Hartford, CT area after years spent in Mississippi and Maine, I agree with
Adam asking about the role of pollution and, OK, even psychosomatic effects.
More research is needed into the increase of respiratory problems but don't
expect much, given the clout of the trucking industry.

Even if pollen only contributes to and isn't the sole cause of allergies &
asthma, it isn't right for a group, frugal community gardeners or not, to
add to the problem.  If an organization doesn't have the means to plant
allergy-free trees within the confines of a city, it shouldn't be planting
trees.  Especially when the word community is in their name.  It's similar,
sort of, to the medical missions in Africa who couldn't afford disposable
syringes so chose to re-use syringes and, according to legend, spread HIV
and other bloodborne diseases.

Unless the people who would clean up seed pods are the only ones who would
suffer from pollen-induced asthma, the choice to plant male trees isn't a
trade-off.  No more than when charities chose to trade off the risk of
disease against the cost of new syringes.  No more than the truckers' choice
to trade pollution for higher profit.  It's never fair unless those making
the decision pay all the costs of the decision.  I think pollen is much less
of a problem in the city than diesel exhaust, but at least pollen is
something we have some control over.

Bruce Wittchen

----- Original Message -----
From: "Honigman, Adam" <Adam.Honigman@bowne.com>
To: <community_garden@mallorn.com>
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2000 6:03 PM
Subject: RE: [cg] More on Allergy-Free Gardening

> OK Leo
> ( Query: Does the jhsph.edu in your email address stand for John Hopkins
> School of Public Health?) ,
> After our community garden's honey harvest ( our beehive helps us keep our
> garden going organically, our pollen helps keep the bees going, etc.) I
> actually got my hands on a copy of  Ogren's  "Allergy Free Gardening"
> http://www.naturalland.com/gv/gnews/gnews2.htm .
> I wonder, and perhaps the list may know the answer: Is childhood and adult
> asthma exacerbated more by diesel and fossil particulate, rat and roach
> droppings or by pollen from plants and trees?   Are asthma attacks
> caused by physical stimulants ( i.e pollen and pollution) or are can they
> set off psychosomatically?
> Ogren  makes some interesting points about urban plantings and how to make
> them less allergenic. The main difference about female trees seems to be
> that gardeners may sneeze less but their backs may ache more from cleaning
> up after them. It always seems to be a matter of trade-offs.
> For folks with more money to pick and choose plants (most CG's I know live
> on freebies, end of season nursery donations, and discounted plants as a
> means of surviving) female, low pollen plants may be the way to go. For
> on a shoestring budget, low pollen gardening may not become a viable
> until nurseries sell enough of them to discount or even write off at the
> of season.
> What do you all think about this?
> Happy gardening,
> Adam
> Yes, I can tell the difference between the sexes of trees now.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Leo Horrigan [SMTP:lhorriga@jhsph.edu]
> > Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2000 3:26 PM
> > To: community_garden@mallorn.com
> > Subject: [cg] More on Allergy-Free Gardening
> >
> >
> > Check out this website from the "American Lung Association of Virginia -
> > Breathe EasyŽ Office":
> >
> > (www.lungusa.org/breatheasyoffice/landscape.html).
> >
> > I mention this as a followup to a post I made a few weeks ago about the
> > issue of male (pollen-producing) plants and their link to an increase in
> > allergic reactions.
> >
> > Leo Horrigan
> > Baltimore, MD
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com
> > https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden
> _______________________________________________
> community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com
> https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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