Allergenic Ebook

Allergy Relief

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Pollen Allergies and Adaptation

Abstract This chapter is dedicated to the problem of plant-induced human allergy and to a specific way of adaptation to it via short-to-mid-term forecasts of atmospheric pollen concentrations and following pre-emptive and preparatory measures. It starts from the introduction to the subject, then considers the main forms of human plant-related allergy. Then, basics of pollination ecology are introduced and the mechanisms and possible models for pollination are presented. Apart from the standard local-scale effect of pollination, the chapter considers the long-distance transport of pollen and outlines the methodology for its quantitative evaluation Turku Allergy Centre, Finland e-mail erkka.valovirta terveystalo.com

Impact of Long Range Pollen Transport to Allergenic Episodes Forecasting Possibilities

The above-outlined main mechanisms that control the plant behavior at a specific place lead to significantly different regional phenological calendars dependent on specifics of regional climate and vegetation. Some key features of these processes can be simulated using semi-empirical models, such as Thermal-Time, thus allowing the forecasting of pollen seasons using meteorological forecasts and local plant observations. The current section will discuss the process that challenges such regionalization and provides large-scale links between different parts of continents a long-range transport of genetic and allergenic material released during the flowering. A more detailed theoretical consideration (Sofiev et al. 2006) showed, however, that at least some types of pollen are susceptible for distribution with air masses for a distance of several hundreds or thousands kilometers, which is well sufficient for transport between climatic zones. These conclusions can be extended by suggesting...

Local and Regional Scale Aspects of Pollen Seasons

Climate is a major determinant of regional seasons of allergenic pollen. In boreal and temperate vegetation zones cold period limits the pollination schedule of plants to certain months, while in warmer climate allergenic pollen may, in addition to periodical peaks, be present in the air all year round (Fang et al. 2001 Hurtado and Alson 1990 Murray et al. 2002 Savitsky and Kobzar 1996). Arid climate may also confine the pollen season to a few months (Halwgay 1994). More specificities arise from edaphic factors, land-use and cultivation, which all affect the distributions and productivity of allergy plants. Extensive geological formations, such as mountains, have their own unique vegetation and pollen flora. Also urban settlements with their characteristic temperature, land-use, high CO2 concentration and light environment are specific habitats for allergy plants (Ziska et al. 2004). The first group - trees and shrubs flowering at the beginning of growing season or even in winter -...

Anhydrobiosis and humans

Although the idea of putting humans into suspended animation is likely to remain in the realms of science fiction, at least for some time to come, anhydrobiotic organisms affect human welfare and research on anhydrobiosis has produced, or has the potential to produce, technologies of use to us. The ability of many microorganisms to survive anhydrobiotically means they can be dispersed through the air. This results in the contamination and spoilage of food and in the spread of disease. Allergies (hayfever) result from the inhalation of airborne pollen and algae. The seeds of many weed plants are also dispersed by air. Plant-parasitic nematodes cause crop failure and reduced yields.

Determining Flowering Timing and Intensity

Considering the seasonal development of allergenic plants, a special attention must be dedicated to early-flowering tree species and herbaceous taxa. For trees, the genera in Fagales (Betula, Alnus, Carya, Corylus, Carpinus, Juglans, Quercus) and the genus mulberry (Moraceae Morus) together with sugi (Taxodiaceae Cryptomeria japonica) in the boreal and temperate zones and olive (Oleaceae Olea) in the Mediterranean climate are among the most common agents of seasonal allergies. Important herbaceous taxa include one of the largest plant family, the grasses (Poaceae) with about 640 genera and over 10,000 species (Mabbelrey 1987), widely distributed weeds, such as mugwort (Artemisia), ragweed (Ambrosia), pigweed (Amaranthus) and goose foot (Chenopodium), as well as pellitory (Parietaria) growing predominantly in the Mediterranean climate (www.pollen.com Pollen. com.asp, www.polleninfo.org).

Selection of Least Hazardous Material Alternatives

In many instances, the MSDS will only summarize the toxicity data of the individual components of the mixture and will not provide information concerning specific toxicological studies on the material itself. In such cases, judgments will have to be based on consultation with such approved sources as the Navy Environmental Health Center. Attention also must be given to any information indicating that the material is a known skin sensitizer or possesses allergenic properties. A suggested source of reference regarding toxic hazards is the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards available from the U.S. Government Printing Office.

Other Health Effects Of Climate Change

Allergies and asthma are influenced by the growth and toxicity of numerous plant species like ragweed, poison ivy, and stinging nettle based on limited evidence, these plants increase growth and toxicity at higher temperatures and or concentrations of CO2 (Hunt et al., 1991 Mohan et al., 2006 USGCRP, 2009a Ziska, 2003). Drought, changes in water resources (Chapter 8), and climate impacts on agricultural production (Chapter 10) all may have consequences for human health and nutrition (CCSP, 2008a Epstein, 2005 Haines and Patz, 2004). There could also be an increase in psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and depression, occurring after severe weather events that cause a disruption of the home environment and economic losses (CCSP, 2008a Haines and Patz, 2004). Shifts in migration patterns and refugee pressures may result from changes in sea level, food production, severe weather, and drought, resulting in additional human health challenges in some areas.

Regulation Of Concentration Of Pollutants

Results from studies of salt-marsh ecosystems suggest that metazoan parasites constitute up to 3 of the biomass of major animal groups in the system (Kuris et al., 2008). If parasites are 3 of the animal biomass, then their ability to superconcentrate pollutants may mean that they contain 30-50 of the mass of pollutants in the system. This would amount to a formidable ecosystem service We note, however, that this assumes that the many different groups of metazoan parasites studied in Kuris et al. (2008) are as efficient at absorbing pollutants as the adult stages of helminths in the guts of vertebrates studied by Sures (2003, 2004). Nevertheless, a relatively small biomass of adult worms in vertebrates may sequester a significant proportion of the pollutants that would otherwise disrupt the viability of host populations. This suggests that if parasites are lost via extinction of their hosts, or via replacement of intermediate hosts by nonviable invasive host species, then the...

Climate Change and Aerobiology and Public Health

Of these variables on plant pollen is harder to assess at this time. Studies conducted across natural gradients in climatic factors from rural to urban areas indicate that increasing levels and temporal shifts in aeroallergen production and allergenicity are linked to rising temperatures and or CO2 (Ziska et al., 2003 Ziska and George, 2004 Mohan et al., 2006 Rogers et al., 2006 Ziska et al., 2008). However, quantity and seasonality of pollen production depend on the plant response to environmental conditions. As previously indicated, several climate change factors influence pollen production of not only crop plants, but also several weed species (Ziska and Caulfield, 2000 Ziska et al., 2003) and allergenic pollen-producing tree species (Emberlin et al., 2002 Wan et al., 2002). Allergenic tree pollen from birch showed earlier spring floral initiation and pollen release in response to spring warming (Emberlin et al., 2002). Similarly, a simulated increase of summer temperature (+4 C)...

Pollen Counts and Symptoms

Trees tend to trigger allergic reactions of patient with asthma and allergic rhino-conjunctivitis in early spring while grass contribution is mostly visible during late spring and early summer weeds can trigger symptoms from spring to fall. Each plant pollinates at approximately the same time each year. However, during the last decades, a significant trend for earlier flowering in many species on the Northern hemisphere has been observed (Menzel et al. 2006). Weather conditions strongly affect concentration of pollen in the air and therefore the prevalence of allergic symptoms. The airborne pollen quantification is a fundamental piece of information for validation and interpretation of scientific clinical trials for the efficiency of medication in pollen related-diseases. It is possible to significantly improve the treatment and its efficiency by using the quantitative pollen information as one of the guidelines. The specific roles of aerobiological observations and modelling as the...

Iihealth Hazard Recognition

Of utmost importance in recognizing occupational disease is the identification of all agents present in the workplace that, alone or with other materials, are capable of causing adverse health effects. Agents are divided into two broad categories physical and chemical. Common agents include noise, solvents, heavy metals, and temperature extremes. The list of harmful agents also includes ionizing radiation, infectious agents, and musculoskeletal stressors. At a typical hazardous waste site a single physical agent, such as vibration, may not pose a significant risk however, in combination with other stressors it may have an additive or synergistic effect. For instance, workers required to wear personal protective equipment may be more susceptible to heat illnesses, rashes, and allergies.

Escalating Allergens and Asthma

Although global warming may help some crops and beneficial plants to grow, it also could spur the growth of harmful plants, such as those that produce allergic reactions in many people. Global warming is expected to produce higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and warmer temperatures. In addition, this warming will cause spring to arrive earlier in many locations, leading to a longer growing period. All these conditions, researchers say, are expected to cause common plants to produce more pollens and allergens particles that cause many people, especially those who suffer from asthma, to sneeze, itch, and have trouble breathing. According to a recent study by Duke University scientists, in fact, the amount of pollen produced by the ragweed plant (a weed common to North America that is a major source of allergic reactions) is expected to more than double if carbon emissions continue to climb in the future. Researchers say that rising atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide...

Of The National Academies

This project was supported by contracts between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Food and Drug Administration U.S. Department of Defense, Department of the Army Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System, Medical Research and Materiel Command, and Defense Threat Reduction Agency U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs U.S. Department of Homeland Security U.S. Agency for International Development Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory American Society for Microbiology Sanofi Pasteur Burroughs Wellcome Fund Pfizer GlaxoSmithKline Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Merck Company Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that...

Conclusions implications for sustainable development

Evidence has grown that climate change already contributes to the global burden of disease and premature deaths. Climate change plays an important role in the spatial and temporal distribution of malaria, dengue, tick-borne diseases, cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases is affecting the seasonal distribution and concentrations of some allergenic pollen species and has increased heat-related mortality. The effects are unequally distributed, and are particularly severe in countries with already high disease burdens, such as sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

Organization of This Volume

Chapter 5 by Mikhail Sofiev and colleagues takes up the issue of pollen, allergies, and adaptation. The basic mechanisms of allergies are presented and the paper describes the risks in terms of pollen ecology, seasonality, and forecasting. The paper concludes with a section on the implications of climate change and deployment of better prevention and treatment (adaptation) techniques.

Perspectives of Changing Climate Most Evident and Probable Impact and Means of Adaptation

As shown in the previous sections, the climate is a major determinant for the phenology, distribution and productivity of plants, as well as for the distribution of the released pollen. With climate change, the margins of species ranges, their relative abundances and boundaries may start to shift (Walther 2003), which will result in changes in local allergenic pollen spectra. For example Finland will probably experience an annual mean temperature increase of 3-5 C during the next Several reports suggest that the synchronous increase in pollen abundance or pollen season length and in respiratory allergy severity or prevalence are to some extent interdependent, the latter being potentially the result of the first (Ault 2004 Clot 2003 Frei 1998 Frei and Leuschner 2000 Voltolini et al. 2000 Wayne et al. 2002 Ziska et al. 2003 Menzel et al. 2006). The number of taxa and covered area vary between the studies. Several reports have concentrated on a selected taxon (Clot 2001 Corden and...

The immune system

It is now generally accepted that allergic respiratory disease (such as asthma) is associated with the enhanced expression of the Th2 cell pathway immune response (162). Ultraviolet radiation has been shown to preferentially suppress the Th1 component of the cellular immune response and to enhance the Th2 component. It has also been suggested that production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) - the immunoglobulin involved in the immediate hypersensitivity immune (allergic) response - is stimulated by ultraviolet radiation in experimental animals (159,163). The detrimental effect of ultraviolet radiation on lupus, which is a Th2-type phenomenon, supports the argument for this mechanism in humans. The stimulation of the Th2 response by ultraviolet radiation, and hence stimulation of IgE production, may result in respiratory allergy. Increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation, such as from lifestyle and personal behaviour, may thus play a role in the as yet unexplained increase in the prevalence...

Economic Impacts

According to a report in LiveScience in November 2005, insurance companies are starting to take notice of the destructive effects of global warming. As property damage occurs from flooding, rising sea levels, hurricanes, severe weather, and other global warming-related events, insurance companies will be increasingly called upon to compensate property owners for destroyed property. Health insurance companies will be faced with the same issues as people are injured in violent weather events or suffer from heat waves, allergies, infectious diseases, and starvation. As more people are affected, insurance companies will be harder hit to bear the financial burden of global warming.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde gas may cause severe irritation to the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and eyes. Repeated exposure to formaldehyde may cause dermatitis either from irritation or allergy. The gas can be removed from the air by an absorptive filter of potassium permanganate-impregnated alumina pellets or fumigation using ammonia. Exposure to formaldehyde may be reduced by using exterior grade pressed wood products that contain phenol resins. Maintaining moderate temperature and low humidity can reduce emissions from formaldehyde-containing material. The chemical is intensely irritating to mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, the eyes, and skin. Repeated exposure may cause dermatitis and skin sensitization. This substance has been listed as a carcinogen.

Biological Aerosols

The winds not only generate aerosols but also scatter preformed particles, including pollen grains, spores, bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, nematodes, protozoa, and fragments of plant and animal tissues. The concentrations of certain kinds of biological aerosols are monitored for allergy sufferers through the familiar air quality indices of fungal spores and pollen. More generally, however, investigations of biological aerosols have been limited despite their relevance for studies of air quality, climate, chemical cycles, and so forth. Biological aerosols span a large range in size, from radii of

Air Quality

Weather and climate changes can affect the mix and level of contaminants in the air. This has important consequences for health, according to a growing body of research showing associations between poor air quality and adverse health effects. In particular, cardiovascular conditions such as cardiac arrhythmia, and respiratory conditions, such as asthma, have been associated with poor air quality. For asthma, temperature increases can affect the levels of aeroal-lergens, such as pollen and mold, which can exacerbate symptoms in allergy and asthma sufferers. The combination of heat and urban pollutants interact to form the urban heat island effect. This refers to the increase in temperatures in urban areas, compared to surrounding rural areas, as a result of less tree coverage, and more use of heat-absorbing materials, such as rooftops and roadways in urban areas. Increases in temperature cause an increase in ground level ozone, a principal component of urban smog.

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