Laureen Lam

  • Graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Computer Science, focusing in Artificial Intelligence
  • Believes that productivity is immensely boosted when people can breathe the air without suffering adverse reactions and that everyone should have access to clean, healthy air to breathe where they work, live and play.

Articles of Interest - 2018

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Brave new world...of non-allergenic parks in Hamilton  [December 9, 2018]


Plants for Clearning the Air  [November 12, 2018]


Children's Right to Play and Recreation in Urban Areas  [October 15, 2018]


Not all plants trigger allergies  [May 15, 2018]


'Pollen bomb' video shows that the male species is responsible for your allergies  [May 11, 2018]


Allergy season is getting longer in parts of Canada.  Blame climate change, experts say  [May 6, 2018]


Guernsey resident celebrated at our Allergy Heroes Awards  [May 4, 2018]


We calculated how much money trees save for your city  [April 27, 2018]


Pollen-allergy researcher Tom Ogren talks allergy friendly gardening  [April 24, 2018]


Tokyo struggles with worst hay fever outbreak on record  [April 23, 2018]


'Pollen bomb" brings misery after joy of warm weather  [April 22, 2018]


How to Keep Allergens Out of Your Garden with Expert Thomas Ogren  [April 11, 2018]


In sniffling Islamabad, pollen allergies soar as spring brings less rain   [April 9, 2018]


Antibiotics and antacids linked to allergies in kids   [April 6, 2018]


the Morning Blaze with Doc Thompson (Hour 1)  [April 5, 2018)


'BOTANICAL SEXISM'?  Scientist blames allergies on 'male-dominated' tree planting   [April 5, 2018]  


Tips for making your home a pollen-free zone   [April 3, 2018]


Botanical sexism with trees making seasonal allergies worse   [April 3, 2018]


Plants for health   [March 2018]


NICH Releases The Power of Plants: Enriching Lives, Creating Jobs, Building Wealth, Saving Money  [March 30, 2018]


Is 'botanical sexism' making allergies worse?   [March 29, 2018]


CDA Plans to Remove Paper Mulberry Trees   [March 29 2018]


Be Aware of Pollen!  Allergenic Plants   [March 16, 2018]


Tom Ogren on Trees in the Built Environment    [March 12, 2018]


Not to be sniffed at    [March 2018]


Impact of Cleaning Products on Women's Lungs as Damaging as 20-A-Day Cigarette Habit: Study   [February 18, 2018] 


Want Cleaner Air?  Try Using Less Deodorant   [February 16, 2018]


Opinion: Here's a Way You Probably Haven't Thought of to Reduce Allergies and Asthma   [February 13, 2108]


Trees make you healthier, but choose wisely   [January 10, 2018]




For articles in 2017 please click on one of the following:  2017           


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Children's Right to Play and Recreation in Urban Areas

October 15, 2018
INFO: Arbor day is the last Friday in April in both Canada and the USA.
Maple Leaf day (only in Canada) falls on the last Wednesday in September, during National Forest Week.

Children's Right to Play and Recreation in Urban Areas
From: Peter Prakke

What better day, than Arbor Day, to bring the spotlight on children and trees? The advantages to children, from being outdoors, are many as they get fresh air and exercise, as well as nurturing a sense of wonder about the environment around them. Often, however, this outdoor experience is not pleasant and in some cases even not possible, due to allergies and asthma.

On Arbor Day it is tradition for the community leadership, the Mayor, to plant a tree with the children of a local school.

What I propose is that, in line with the Child's Right to Play and Recreation, under UNICEF's Convention on the Rights of the Child, Mayors select allergy-friendly trees, according to the OPALS® scale. In this way, we ensure that the trees, and the areas in which they are planted, are able to be enjoyed by the broadest number of constituents of all ages.

OPALS® is the plant allergy scale that measures the allergen potential of all landscaping plants, based on a numeric scale where 1 = allergy friendly and 10 = high allergen potential and to be avoided, with the goal of promoting the health of children and the general population. Allergy-friendly trees are often the female of the tree species, which collects pollen resulting in cleaner air and which has the added benefit of providing for the food-chain through seeds and fruits. The pollen-producing male trees are more likely to trigger asthmatic and allergic reactions to their pollen. The effects of high pollen counts are most common in urban areas, where not only are there fewer female trees to capture the pollen, but the abundance of concrete and asphalt serve to preserve and circulate the pollen across larger areas, negatively impacting larger numbers of people.

To expand the number of areas where people can engage comfortably with nature, and recognising that it is also common for community service organisations to plant trees in a designated park or urban area on Arbor Day, I would suggest that schools use the annual opportunity to plant at least one allergy-friendly tree. Community-based organisations such as Rotary, Lions, 4H, Boy/Girl Scouts, as well as religious centers and horticultural societies are others who could be encouraged to procure and plant at least one or two allergy friendly trees in designated locations.

In this way, pollen is increasingly kept under control and more people are ultimately able to enjoy time in nature.


Articles of Interest - 2017

[By clicking on an item below you will be taken to a page containing that article]



City to have first-ever pollen count station  [December 11, 2017]

Line streets with trees to reduce number of asthma attacks, experts say   [November 17, 2017]

Line streets with trees to prevent serious asthma attacks, say scientists   [November 17, 2017]

Pollution is the largest health inequality in Europe - New Lancet's report   [November 9, 2017]

Victoria considers gardening changes to help allergy sufferers   [November 8, 2017]

Low allergen gardening   [October 27, 2017]

Commemorating Fallen soldiers with Bravery Parks   [October 24, 2017]

"Allergy-Free Tree Selection"  A Seminar led by Tom Ogren at Barcham Trees    [October 19, 2017]

10 Books That Shine a Light on Allergies   [October 10, 2017]

Planting an Allergy-Friendly Future   [August 29, 2017]  

What's killing trees during droughts?  Scientists have new answers.   [August 7, 2017]

The challenging art of pollen forecasting   [July 20, 2017]

How to Make an Allergy-Friendly Garden   [June 28, 2017]

Importance of the Allergy Friendly Landscape  [June 14, 2017]

Sustainable Design of Green Zones  [May 31, 2017]

Toward an Allergy-friendly Australia   [May 2nd and 3rd, 2017]

'Botanical sexism' makes life worse for allergy suffers   [April 27, 2017]

The Troubling Link Between Springtime Allergies and Suicide   [April 21, 2017]

Why can't I play in our schoolyard?  [March 28, 2017]

Twenty-two Tips for Producing Low-Allergy Gardens  [March 7, 2017]

Far Higher Death Rate Among Black Children with Asthmna in U.S.  [March 2017]

Create a Sneeze-Free Garden   (February 21, 2017)

10 Things to Never Say to Someone With Food Allergies  [2/21/17]

Building greener cities: nine benefits of urban trees  [January 31, 2017]

When pollen attacks!  Experts reveal new approaches to combating hay fever  [January 21, 2017]

Building the asthma-friendly school garden  [January 1, 2017]  


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