Air pollutants influence pollen concentration, study shows


New Delhi: Air pollutants influence the concentration of pollen and different types of pollen have a unique response to weather conditions, a study by Indian scientists shows.

Pollens stay suspended in the air and are part of the air we breathe. When inhaled, they strain our upper respiratory system and cause generalized upper respiratory and nasobronchial allergy with manifestations such as asthma, seasonal rhinitis, and bronchial irritation.

Airborne pollen varies in nature from place to place due to various weather or environmental conditions. It is increasingly clear that airborne pollen plays a crucial role in the increase of allergic diseases in urban areas. As pollen, climate variables and air pollutants coexist in nature, they have the potential to interact with each other and exacerbate their adverse effects on human health.

In light of this, Professor Ravindra Khaiwal of the Higher Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, along with the Chairman of the Department of Environmental Studies, Dr Suman Mor and PhD student Akshi Goyal, studied the influence of meteorology and air pollutants on the airborne pollen of Chandigarh.

In the study, supported financially by the Department of Science and Technology, and one of the first in India to try to understand the impact of air pollutants and weather variables on airborne pollen, they explored the relationships between temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, wind speed. , direction and ambient air pollutants mainly, from particulates and nitrogen oxides to airborne pollen, according to a statement.

The study, recently published in Science of the Total Environment, suggests that each type of pollen studied had a unique response to weather conditions and air pollutants.

The majority of pollen types have been reported in spring and fall. Distinct peaks of airborne pollen were observed under favorable weather conditions, such as moderate temperature, low humidity, and low precipitation. It has been observed that moderate temperature plays an important role in flowering, inflorescence, maturation, pollen release and dispersal. In contrast, pollen grains were removed from the atmosphere during precipitation and high relative humidity.

A complex and obscure relationship between airborne pollen and air pollutants has been indicated. Scientists plan to look at long-term data sets to establish trends in the relationship.

Khaiwal pointed out that in terms of the climatic future, the urban environment is expected to have a significant impact on the biological and phenolological parameters of plants.

“Therefore, the study results generate useful hypotheses that air pollutants influence pollen concentration and can be explored further as the dataset expands into the future,” the statement added. .

The results of the present study could help improve understanding of the complex interactions between airborne pollen, air pollutants and climate variables to help formulate appropriate mitigation policies and minimize the burden of pollinosis. in the Indo-Gangetic Plain region – identified as an air pollution hotspot, especially in October and November.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by the English staff at Sambad and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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