Experts are predicting an unusually bad allergy season with high levels of pollen this year. They note that the cold and wet spring has delayed the onset of pollen production and will cause many types of plants to produce allergens at once. Professor Keith Killingbeck of The University of Rhode Island said he was surprised by the intensity of the allergen levels.
Rhode Island restaurants have until July 1st to come into compliance with a new allergen awareness law. The law requires restaurants to post signs about food allergens and include menu notices to remind customers to alert their servers to any food allergies. The law is the direct result of efforts by a Middletown teenager.
Sixteen year old Lauren Mongeau is allergic to a wide variety of foods. Her older sister, Danielle, lists a few of them:
"Red meat, dairy, bananas, sesame seeds and a lot more," Danielle says.