Friday , 20 September 2019
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Allergy season and changing climate

A new study has found that allergy season has worsened because of increased pollen count and changing the climate.

Low-income households and kids tend to be at higher risk of catching diseases like asthma because of exposure to pollen. With rising temperature, the situation is likely to get worst for allergies because plants like ragweed will start migrating. Warmer temperatures allow the trees to pollinate earlier and for longer times.

If the temperature continues to increase at its current stride, it is expected that by the end of the century, the growing season will be longer by about a month in most part of the world. Places that did not witness the pollen-producing flora will soon see them in plenty, exposing whole new populations to pollen.

It’s not just the warmer temperatures adding to our misery. Plants love some carbon dioxide, and when there is more of it in the atmosphere due to the greenhouse gases causing climate change, they flourish. Studies on ragweed show that the amount of pollen the plant produces actually doubles with higher levels of CO2. The pollen becomes more potent too, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

To prevent pollen from entering homes, leave footwear at the door. Change clothes if you’ve been outside for a long duration. Tidy the pets who have to go out.

Hair works a bit like a mop, collecting pollen that’s floating in the air. Wash your hair or brush it out before you go to sleep, or cover it to prevent sleeping in all the pollen.

Climate change can also be controlled through simple amendments inside the home like – turning out the lights while leaving the room, using energy-efficient light bulbs, unplug electronic appliances when not in use, do not use hot water to wash clothes and use public transport or carpool to reduce the number of trips you take in the car.

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