Regulating Pollen

The most common allergen is pollen, and pollen causes the most common allergy, known as “hay fever.” While pollen allergies might appear to be the unavoidable cost of living with flowering plants, the suffering engendered by pollen allergies is largely our own creation. Plants will always flower, but people have built a world that increases the harm we suffer from pollen.

Reducing much of the human suffering caused by pollen allergies simply requires removing certain allergenic plants from cities and replacing them with less allergenic species near where we live and work. Instead, governments and nurseries have encouraged planting some of the most allergenic species in large numbers, even near our homes and schools. Several cities already regulate allergenic plants, but government can do more to reduce pollen allergies.

Brian Sawers, Regulating Pollen, 98 Minn. L. Rev. Headnotes 96 (2014).

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