Hay fever explodes in Switzerland due to global warming

Hay fever explodes in Switzerland due to global warming
Hay fever explodes in Switzerland due to global warming

A century ago, hay fever was virtually unknown in Switzerland (archives).

Photo: Keystone/FABRICE COFFRINI

Hay fever is exploding in Switzerland due to global warming. While it was virtually unknown 100 years ago, today one in five people are affected, according to the Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences (SCNAT).

With climate change, the period of hay fever is lengthening, pollen concentrations are increasing and highly allergenic invasive plants are spreading, according to a new fact sheet published Tuesday by the Swiss Commission for the Chemistry and Physics of Nature. atmosphere from SCNAT and MeteoSwiss.

Around 20% of the Swiss population is currently affected, compared to 0.8% in 1926, we read in this document. The phenomenon is global. With warming, many plants are releasing their pollen earlier and with greater intensity and the spread of invasive and highly allergenic plants like ragweed continues apace.

Air pollution, which can damage people’s airways, also contributes to asthma and hay fever. Plants stressed by poor air quality additionally seem to produce pollen which triggers stronger allergic reactions.

A public health problem

As many people in Switzerland are affected and the annual costs are already between one and four billion francs per year, hay fever should also be the subject of measures by public authorities, the authors argue.

They propose a series of appropriate action options: from limiting climate change and air pollution to warning systems, including the fight against invasive species and adapted public plantations in municipalities.

Recently, new, fully automated pollen measurements have been carried out by MeteoSwiss. They can help affected people reduce their contact with pollen or take more targeted medications.

/ATS

#Swiss

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