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Achoo! Springfield, Providence Among 'Sneeziest And Wheeziest Cities'

SPRINGFIELD (CBS) -- A new report names two New England cities as the "sneeziest and wheeziest" places in America.

The Natural Resources Defense Council looked at ragweed and ozone data, which it says can lead to asthma attacks and worsen allergy symptoms.
Springfield, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island are both named "Asthma Capitals."

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The No. 1 sneeziest and wheeziest city is Richmond, Virginia, which also took the title in 2010 and 2011. The council credits Richmond's ranking to high pollen levels, death rates from asthma and numbers of asthma-related emergency room visits.

The environmental advocacy group recommends that the government do more to fight climate change and also offers personal tips for protecting against pollen including:

-Keeping track of pollen counts in your area

-Keep windows closed on high pollen or ozone days

-Shower and wash hair to remove pollen after playing or working outdoors

-Washing bedding frequently

-Consider wearing a filter mask before working outdoors on high pollen days

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