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Sarasota Is the Worst City in Florida for Allergies

And it's the sixth worst city in America for those suffering from allergies.

By Isaac Eger March 22, 2023

Image: Kari Perrin

Sarasota is no stranger to being No. 1. Siesta Key is a perennial first placer in beach rankings, and just last year, U.S. News & World Report said Sarasota was the best place to live in all of Florida. Now we can add another trophy to our mantle. Sarasota is the No. 1 worst city in Florida for allergies

There are more than 60 million Americans who suffer from allergies, and the number is growing. This month, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America published a list of 2022’s U.S. “allergy capitals.” It's is a comprehensive study of the most challenging places to live with allergies. 

For those of you suffering through this season’s brutal oak pollen and red tide one-two punch, it’s probably no surprise that Sarasota is at the top of the list. The good news is that we aren’t the worst city overall. We are only No. 6 in the country, just behind Wichita, Dallas, Scranton and Tulsa. We rank particularly high because of our tree pollen. In fact, Sarasota is the No. 3 worst city for tree pollen overall. 

Florida has seven of the top 20 cities in America with the worst allergies. Some  of that is likely because of all the people moving down here, adding to the amount of people suffering from allergies, but there is another reason why allergies getting worse in the United States. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, it's climate change. 

“Climate change has caused the growing seasons to get longer and warmer, leading to higher tree, grass, and weed pollen counts,” the report says. There are now some areas in the US that have pollen year-round. Air pollution is getting worse because of the heat trapped in urban areas. The South and Northeast had recording-breaking warmth this winter, causing spring leaves to appear 20 days earlier than usual. In fact, the South experienced its earliest spring in over four decades.

But hey, at least we are no longer the meanest city in America. That honor now belongs to Philadelphia

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