(ABC4) – According to new research from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) regarding climate change and pollen seasons, there has been a significant increase in pollen in the air in recent years.
The study measured pollen trends in North America from 1990 to 2018 and found not only increases in airborne pollen concentrations, but also longer pollen seasons.
The study found that the largest and most consistent increases were seen in Texas and the US Midwest.
The results indicate that human-caused climate change has worsened North American pollen seasons, and these pollen trends are likely to further worsen impacts on our respiratory health in the future.
“Man-made climate change could impact respiratory health, including asthma and allergies, due to increased airborne pollen temperatures, but long-term trends continental pollen and the role of climate change in pollen patterns are not well understood,” the study states.
Human-caused climate change is expected to have widespread negative impacts on public health, as the study shows that the consequences include not only major respiratory health issues, such as worsening allergies and asthma, but also viral infections, affecting “school performance and the economic situation downstream”. impacts and emergency room visits.
Pollen levels are strongly linked to susceptibility to viral infections by exacerbating respiratory inflammation and weakening immune responses.
Long-term increases in the length of the pollen season indicate that exposure times to allergenic pollen, as well as the amount of pollen, have increased significantly in North America in recent decades.
Similarly, long-term data show significant increases in allergen sensitivities across all age groups in the United States, with trends of increased pollen sensitization in childhood leading to increases in adolescents and adults with allergic asthma.