Burning sugarcane fields may make allergies worse - KLFY News 10

Burning sugarcane fields may make allergies worse

Posted: Updated:

While the rest of the country may be breathing easy this time of year, around Acadiana, allergy sufferers are still sneezing into fall.

"It's what I call the trifecta. Pollen and weed count is still peaking in the fall along with mold and especially sugarcane mold."

Dr. Brent Prather, a Lafayette allergist specialist says mold counts are typically very high year-round in South Louisiana. But what a lot of people may not know is sugarcane burning may be adding to the problem.  After the crop is harvested, farmers often burn what's called the left-over "leaf trash." The sugarcane mold then circulates the air and tends to flare up certain kinds of allergies.

"It's called sugarcane smut and it's specific to the sugarcane stalk," said Prather. "And when they harvest the sugar cane, it releases in the air and if you're downwind of it, it can be toxic and it can increase your allergies."

Prather says his practice usually sees an uptick in asthma, hay fever, and sinus infections during harvest time—September, October, and November. While there's no escaping the airborne allergens, especially for those who live around the fields, taking extra measures can certainly help.

"They need to roll up their windows in their car if they're driving and see any sugarcane harvesting going on. And they need to stay inside with windows closed if they can," said Prather.

Although he doesn't expect allergies to let up until late December, in the meantime, there's plenty of symptom relief between anti-histamines, nasal sprays, and allergy shots.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Superintendent Cleared of Battery Complaint

    Superintendent Cleared of Battery Complaint

    Lafayette City Prosecutor Gary Haynes has refused to accept criminal charges in a battery complaint filed against Lafayette Schools Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper regarding an alleged altercation with school board member Dr. Tehmi Chassion.More >>
    Lafayette City Prosecutor Gary Haynes has refused to accept criminal charges in a battery complaint filed against Lafayette Schools Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper regarding an alleged altercation with a school board member.More >>
  • In Deep Waters

    In Deep Waters

    In this's special report News 10's Renee Allen brings us the answers to questions many have. How bad is Acadiana’s drainage system?More >>
    In this's special report News 10's Renee Allen brings us the answers to questions many have. How bad is Acadiana’s drainage system?More >>
  • Family Receives New Home

    Family Receives New Home

    The new home also came with a $5,000 down payment check and it was all made possible with the help of Habitat for Humanity and former NFL player Warrick Dunn's charity.
    More >>
    The new home also came with a $5,000 down payment check and it was all made possible with the help of Habitat for Humanity and former NFL player Warrick Dunn's charity. More >>
Powered by WorldNow

1808 Eraste Landry Rd, PO Box 90665,
Lafayette LA 70509

Telephone: 337.981.4823
Fax: 337.984.8323
Email: tip10@klfy.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Louisiana, Inc. A Media General Company.