Hay fever explodes in Switzerland due to global warming – rts.ch

Hay fever explodes in Switzerland due to global warming – rts.ch
Hay fever explodes in Switzerland due to global warming – rts.ch

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.

Ragweed is a plant whose pollen can cause allergies. [Depositphotos – elenathewise]

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.

>> Read also: Climate change harms health

A public health problem

As very 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, argue the authors.

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

>> Read also: Invasive plants, like the “Ticino palm”, in the crosshairs of the authorities

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.

>> On the MeteoSwiss website: Pollen forecast

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