Global warming blamed for allergen increase

August 6, 2008 2:54:13 PM PDT
Next week, August 15 to be exact, is the opening of ragweed season. That's bad news for the 36 million Americans who suffer from ragweed allergy-- and global warming could be making things worse.

In a new review, scientists reporting in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology describe multiple ways in which warmer temperatures impact our health. One study found that plants flower an average of nearly five days earlier now compared to a decade ago.

Carbon dioxide gas is linked to a 60 to 90 percent rise in pollen production for some ragweed varieties and global warming is also expected to create more forest fires that trigger air pollution that worsens asthma.

People with allergies are advised to keep windows closed during pollen season, stay indoors during the midday to reduce exposure, and change clothes after outdoor activities.


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