Even those who usually don’t suffer from allergies these days could experience the typical symptoms, such as red eyes, sneezing and asthma, especially in the city. Some air pollutants are in fact absorbed by pollen and then released into the airways, intensifying allergic manifestations. This is highlighted by a study coordinated by the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz published in the journal Frontiers in Allergy.
The research is reported by the Italian Society of Aerobiology, Medicine and the Environment (Siama), which, on the first day of spring, organizes the National Pollen Day which will be celebrated tomorrow with an event in the Chamber of Deputies sponsored by the Italian Society of Allergology , Asthma and Clinical Immunology (SIAAIC).
“The study shows that some pollens, such as those of grasses, trigger the hyperactivation of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), cellular receptors that activate the allergic reaction of the immune system, even in those who do not suffer from allergies”, he explains Mario Di Gioacchino, SIAAIC president. “Until now we had started from the assumption that the continuous increase in allergic diseases recorded in recent decades was due to the combination of genetic predisposition and climatic anomalies”, adds the president of Siama, Vincenzo Patella. “The excessive exposure of allergens to some air pollutants which, in recent years, have reached high concentrations would also play a decisive role in this ‘allergy epidemic'”. Meanwhile, the one that has just begun promises to be a record season: “We have gone from concentrations of 200 total pollen per cubic meter on average in the peak days of 5 years ago to the current 2,000, 10 times more”, reports Patella.
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