Chandigarh gets its first pollen calendar, will help identify potential allergy triggers

·2-min read
Pollen calendar (Photo/ANI)
Pollen calendar (Photo/ANI)

Chandigarh [India], September 11 (ANI): Chandigarh now has its first pollen calendar, which can identify potential allergy triggers and provide a clear understanding for clinicians as well as allergy sufferers about their causes to help limit their exposure during high pollen loads.

"This will help prepare early advisories so that they can use protective gear during the period when the concentration of allergic pollens will be high," Dr Ravindra Khaiwal, the lead investigator of the team at the Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER told ANI.

As per the department, about 20-30 per cent of the population suffers from allergic rhinitis/hay fever in India, and approximately 15 per cent develop asthma. Pollens are considered major outdoor airborne allergens responsible for allergic rhinitis, asthma, and atopic dermatitis in humans. Pollen calendars represent the time dynamics of airborne pollen taxa in graphical form in a particular geographical area.

They yield readily accessible visual details about various airborne pollen taxa present throughout the year, with their seasonality in a single picture. Pollen calendars are location-specific, with concentrations closely related to locally distributed flora, the department added.

The department examined the seasonal periodicities of airborne pollen spectrum and developed the first Pollen Calendar for Chandigarh city.

"This will help prepare early advisories and disseminate them through media channels to the citizens so that they can use protective gear during the period when the concentration of allergic pollens will be high. It is also a preventive tool for sensitive people to diminish exposure when the levels of aero-pollen are high during specific periods," they added.

The group explored the main pollen seasons, their intensities, variations, and aerobiologically significant pollen types in Chandigarh.

"The study brought out the first pollen calendar for Chandigarh, provided up-to-date information, and highlighted the variability of crucial pollen types in different seasons. The prominent airborne pollen dominating seasons were spring and autumn, with maximum species surfacing when the phenological and meteorological parameters are considered favourable for pollen grains' growth, dispersion, and transmission," the team mentioned.

The study supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) was recently published in Atmospheric Environment, a journal by Elsevier.

Khaiwal, the lead investigator, said, "Chandigarh had reported a remarkable increase in forest cover in recent years, and rise in green spaces would also increase airborne pollen, consequently increasing pollen-related allergic ailments." (ANI)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting