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Photo of man suffering from airborne allergies in top airborne allergy hotspots

The usa’s top Airborne allergy hotspOts – which states are bEst and worst?

Did you know that if you’re allergic to an airborne allergen like pollen, dust mites, mold or pet dander, the place where you live can affect how likely you are to experience symptoms and how bad they are? This is because these various allergens are more commonly found in certain locations, with other factors such as wind also having an effect on how they spread and make their way into people’s airways. Depending on what you’re allergic to, you may find that your allergy flares up more in some locations than others – but what are the best and worst states for these different allergens? 

The worst usa states for airborne allergies

What are the best and worst US states for airborne allergies? 

According to an in-depth study conducted by HouseFresh, the following states are the worst for the four main airborne allergies: 

  • Pollen: North Dakota 
  • Dust: Vermont 
  • Pet dander: West Virginia 
  • Mold: Kansas 

In order to give a comprehensive picture of the airborne allergy situation across the USA, this study examined a broad range of indicators, including (among others): 

Based on the findings, HouseFresh created a scoring system with allergy ratings out of 100, with each state receiving an overall score and a separate score for each of the four airborne allergens. The top three best and worst overall states for airborne allergies are shown in this table. 

Lowest (best) overall allergy scores Highest (worst) overall allergy scores 
State Score State Score 
Utah 20 Kansas 53 
Nevada 21 Arkansas 50 
Wyoming 22 North Dakota 48 
Photo of What are the best and worst states for people with a pollen allergy (hay fever)

What are the best and worst states for people with a pollen allergy (hay fever)? 

If you have hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and you live in North Dakota, Kansas or New Hampshire, we have bad news for you – these states are the worst for pollen allergies, all with scores around 50. Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Florida all fare much better, with scores well below 20 – a high elevation and dry climate seem to contribute to low pollen counts in these states. 

Hay fever is an allergy to pollen that causes unpleasant symptoms like sneezing, runny eyes and an itchy face. However, it’s worth noting that different people are allergic to different types of pollen, with trees, grasses and weeds releasing their pollen at different times of the year and causing variable responses in people with this airborne allergy, so make sure to do your research before calling the removal company!  

For a comprehensive picture of how much pollen is currently in the air in a given location, you can check your local pollen count, such as the one provided by pollen.com, which also features a national allergy map, pollen forecasts and detailed information about allergies, among other handy resources. You can also look out for the latest Allergy Capitals report from the AAFA, which ranks 100 US cities based on the prevalence of seasonal allergies and the availability of specialists and treatment. 

The top three best and worst states for pollen, according to the HouseFresh study, are listed below. 

Lowest (best) pollen allergy scores Highest (worst) pollen allergy scores 
State Score State Score 
Wyoming 12 North Dakota 53 
Utah 14 Kansas 50 
Colorado 16 New Hampshire 47 
Photo for Where are pet dander allergies most common

Where are pet dander allergies most common? 

Based on pet ownership statistics, the states that are most unsafe for people with pet allergies are West Virginia, Arkansas, Maine and Nebraska. On the other hand, New Mexico, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming recorded much lower numbers of households taking in a pet, making pet allergies less of a concern in those states. Around 70% of US households have pets, but the numbers vary widely from state to state. 

Around 10–20% of the world’s population currently suffer from pet allergies. However, spending more time around pets increases the likelihood of someone without an allergy becoming sensitive to dander, the microscopic particles found in the fur of animals like cats and dogs that causes allergic reactions, meaning this number could rise as house pets become more popular. 

People with a dog or cat allergy experience similar symptoms to those with hay fever, with runny nose and itchy eyes being particularly common. With dander staying airborne for longer than other allergens, it’s important to take good care, especially if visiting a household that has pets. 

Here are the top three best and worst states for pet allergies. 

Lowest (best) pet dander allergy scores Highest (worst) pet dander allergy scores 
State Score State Score 
New Mexico West Virginia 87 
Idaho Arkansas 85 
Montana Maine 77 
Photo for Which states are riskier for those with a dust mite allergy

Which states are riskier for those with a dust mite allergy? 

HouseFresh found that, according to stats from the CDC, the worst state for those with dust mite allergies is Vermont, with New Jersey, Oklahoma and Florida being the best. It should be mentioned that these findings are based on statistics about deaths from dust-related causes, not exclusively dust allergies. 

An estimated 20 million people in the US suffer from what is often referred to as a dust allergy – in reality, they’re actually allergic to waste released by tiny bugs called dust mites, which can cause symptoms like watery eyes, a runny nose, coughing and congestion of the airways when inhaled. Dust mites are found in most households in the US, residing in soft furnishings such as curtains, carpets and bedding, and they thrive in humid environments. 

To keep them to a minimum, the American Lung Association recommends keeping humidity levels down with air conditioning or a dehumidifier, giving the mites fewer places to hide by replacing carpets and other surfaces with smooth furnishings and regularly decluttering, dusting and washing bedding at high temperatures. Using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter is another way to keep them at bay. 

The best and worst states for dust mite allergies are shown in the table below. 

Lowest (best) dust mite allergy scores Highest (worst) dust mite allergy scores 
State Score State Score 
New Jersey Vermont 100 
Oklahoma Wisconsin 60 
Florida New Mexico 53 
Photo for Where in the US are mold allergies most likely to cause issues

Where in the US are mold allergies most likely to cause issues?

Based on online searches conducted in different areas of the country alongside factors likely to indicate mold such as building ages, presence of gas heaters and mold spore forecasts, the worst US states for mold allergies are Kansas, New York and New Jersey. Meanwhile, the states safest from this peril are Hawaii and Nevada. 

Mold likes moist environments, so the best way to prevent it from spreading is to keep humidity levels as low as possible. Maintaining suitable insulation and ventilation, as well as using fungicidal products and other anti-mold measures, can also help. 

Mold spores often hang in the air for a long time and can cause an allergic reaction when inhaled, with symptoms including a stuffy nose, sneezing, a sore throat, dry cough, and even difficulty breathing or skin irritation. An estimated 3–10% of America’s population has a mold allergy

This table displays the best and worst states for these unfortunate people based on HouseFresh’s findings. 

Lowest (best) dust mite allergy scores Highest (worst) dust mite allergy scores 
State Score State Score 
Hawaii 19 Kansas 68 
Nevada 21 New York 63 
Washington 25 New Jersey 61 

Wherever you are, you can protect yourself from airborne allergies 

While it’s useful to know which states are most dangerous for various airborne allergies, moving to another part of the country is simply not an option for most people. And in any case, there’s absolutely no guarantee it will even change anything – especially with a pet allergy, which has more to do with the particular households where one spends time than the geographic area. 

One thing that will definitely alleviate your airborne allergy symptoms is an effective wearable air purifier – like Respiray Wear A+, which draws in surrounding allergen-filled air and uses a powerful HEPA filter to remove any offending particles before directing it back towards the user’s airways, creating a “shield” of clean air for them to breathe. The principle is simple – if you’re not breathing in any allergens, you can’t have an allergic reaction. 

Photo of a boy wearing the best allergy relief Respiray Wear A+
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