- Engineering & Materials
- Environmental engineering
- Modeling effects of climate change on allergic illness
Modeling effects of climate change on allergic illness
Isukapalli, Sastry S. Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Piscataway, New Jersey.
Bielory, Leonard Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey.
Georgopoulos, Panos G. Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Piscataway, New Jersey.
- Climate change
- Major factors governing exposures
- Predictive modeling
- Computer models, tools, and databases
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Allergic illness is responsible for a substantial proportion of health care costs in the United States, and the prevalence of allergic airway disease (AAD) has increased over the last 30–40 years. AAD includes disorders such as asthma, sinusitis, and allergic rhino-conjunctivitis. Various environmental factors are suspected to play a role in AAD, including diet and exposures to specific air pollutants (such as environmental tobacco smoke and photochemical smog) and pollen-associated allergens. Typically, pollen-related allergies in the spring are caused by pollen from trees such as birch and oak, while those in the late summer and fall are attributable to ragweed. Exposure to air pollutants can increase the sensitivity to pollen. Asthmatics who are exposed to high levels of atmospheric pollutants, such as ozone and particulate air matter, have a higher risk of developing symptoms when they subsequently are exposed to pollen. Because co-exposures to pollen and air pollutants, such as ozone, can have synergistic adverse health effects, there is a need to study co-exposures to gaseous, particulate-phase pollutants, and bioaerosols in a consistent manner. Figure 1 shows the occurrence of ozone and ragweed pollen levels across the continental United States.
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