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A List of the Best States for People With Allergies

written by: Genevieve Van Wyden • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 5/22/2011

California, New England, Washington State, Florida and Ohio all have one thing in common: in 2006 and 2009 all had cities ranking in the Top 100, being the best states for allergies.

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    Overview

    Do you live in one of the best states for allergy sufferers or in one of the worst states? Two times every year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America use three criteria to rank the best and worst states. The numbers change from survey to survey, meaning cities and states move from the best to the worst every time the survey is completed. Hint: in 2009, the worst city in the country for those with allergies was located in Texas. This location ranked lower than average in all three categories, according to Health Central. [1]

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    Factors Making States the Best

    The three factors used in determining the best states for allergies to live are: average medication use per patient; pollen score; and the number of certified allergists, according to Health Central. [1] These factors are dynamic, meaning they don’t stay the same from year to year. With this in mind, states and cities move from the “worst” list to the “best” list, then back again. Some states have just one or two cities ranked in the survey while others have multiple locations featured on the “best” list.

    A state or community that experiences warm, dry and humid weather conditions won’t rank high on the “best” list. Winds bring pollen from miles away, increasing the pollen counts which were previously low; mold spores are more easily transported in hot temperatures, according to Beyond Allergy. [2]

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    California, 2009 List

    Six cities in this state were ranked within the top 26 percent for those with allergies to live in. Fresno was ranked at number 74, San Francisco, 78, San Jose, 82, Stockton, 92, Sacramento, 95 and San Diego, 97, according to Health Central. [1]

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    Massachusetts, 2009 List

    Worcester, Springfield and Boston were all featured in the top 30 percent in “the best” list for 2009. While air pollution and high traffic congestion as factors, in general, these cities scored well in pollen count, number of certified allergists practicing in the state and a low average of medication use per allergy patient, according to Health Central. [1]

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    Washington State, 2006 List

    Demonstrating the tendency for states to move on and off the “best” list, Washington state scored well with both Spokane and Seattle being mentioned in the AAFA’s 2006 Fall Allergy Capitals list. While the foliage in this state is plentiful, pollen counts are not high. Even though moisture levels are high with frequent rains, temperatures don’t go high enough for pollen to be transported in by the wind, making this state a good choice for allergy sufferers, according to Beyond Allergy. [2]

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    Florida, 2006 List

    Florida is almost entirely surrounded by ocean (on its east, the Atlantic and on its west, the Pacific). While the state does experience high humidity levels, high temperatures are not as much of a factor as in other locations, meaning pollen is less likely to be transported here. The cities featured in 2006 included Pensacola, Daytona Beach, Melbourne and Fort Myers, according to Beyond Allergy. [2]

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    Ohio, 2006 List

    While Ohio is an industrialized state, with factories located throughout, some cities ranked high in the 2006 Fall Allergy Capitals. These included Canton, Youngstown and Toledo, according to Beyond Allergy. Temperatures don’t get high during the summer; pollen does not get carried into Ohio from other locations. [2]

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    Maine, 2009 List

    Health Central featured Portland, Maine on the 2009 “Best” place for allergy sufferers to live. The AAFA rated Portland as rating “better than average or average” in all three rating factors (pollen count, average use of allergy medications and number of certified allergists in the state). According to Health Central, Portland Maine ranked at 89 on the list. [1]

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    Oregon, 2009 List

    Like Washington state, Oregon is located on the west coast and enjoys cooler temperatures. Because of its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, pollen does not get transported by winds as easily as it would in drier states. Portland, Oregon ranked at 100 in the 2009 survey, according to Health Central. [1]

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    Colorado, 2009 List

    Several states in the Mountain West were mentioned in the 2009 survey. These states all have good reputations for healthy living and clean air, which helped their positions in the survey. Colorado Springs ranked at 87 and Denver ranked at 84 in the 2009 survey, according to Health Central. [1]

    Because Colorado has a high proportion of undeveloped, rural land, pollutants from manufacturing are low, putting this state in the list of "best states for allergies."

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    Utah, 2009 List

    Utah was mentioned with Colorado in the same 2009 "Best Cities for Allergies" ranking survey. The same factors that helped Colorado also benefited Utah, with Salt Lake City and Ogden being ranked at 94 and 93, respectively, according to Health Central. [1]

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    Connecticut, 2009 List

    Connecticut, high on the east coast, with its cooler temperatures and location close to the Atlantic, ranked high on the 2009 "Best Cities for Allergies" survey. Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford ranked at 86, 73 and 70, respectively in the 2009 AAFA survey, according to Health Central. [1]

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    References

    [1] http://www.healthcentral.com/allergy/c/3387/99551/great-united-asthma Health Central: 5 Great Places to Live in the United States if You Have Allergies

    [2] http://www.beyondallergy.com/outdoor-allergies/low-allergy-cities.php Beyond Allergy: Low Allergy Cities