Yellow dust not chemicals

A bright yellow powder coating cars, streets and ponds in Galloway sparked confused many this week.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 17th May 2014, 9:37 am
Tree pollen
Tree pollen

Some readers contacted The Gazette concerned that the particularly bright powder was some form of chemical, perhaps from aeroplanes, adding it was significantly affecting asthma sufferers.

One reader told us he had to dust a thick layer of the substance off his car windscreen before using it.

But it turns out the powder is nothing more than common tree pollen having fallen in vast quantities – much more than usual due to adverse weather – early in the week.

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The Scottish Environment protection Agency (SEPA) said they were aware of the reports but there was nothing to worry about.

A spokesman said: “SEPA is aware of complaints from members of the public regarding the presence of a yellow powdery substance in the air and on the ground in many areas across Dumfries and Galloway over the past few days.

“We can confirm that the substance is in fact tree pollen. This is a natural process and poses no significant risk to the environment.

“We would like to remind the public to contact our Pollution Hotline on 0800 80 70 60 if they have information about any potential pollution incidents.”

Many other readers pointed out they’ve never seen this much pollen around before.

Annie Fergusson said: “ If it is pollen why haven’t I seen this before? It was even in the tide.”

Bruntis Loch near Blackcraig, Newton Stewart was seen by many of our readers to be coated in a thin, yellow film for much of the week.

Allergy experts said this spring that wet weather may have helped pollen grow particularly well and when the rain gives way to a dry spell, it means the trees and grass will dry out too, leading to higherthan usual levels of pollen being released now.

The allergy experts also advised that pollen counts could be two or three times higher this summer than last summer thanks to the winter weather.