Impacts of Climate Change on Aeroallergens and Allergic Respiratory Diseases in Children in Rural Areas pp. 377-383
Authors: Paul John Beggs
Abstract: Impacts of climate change on aeroallergens and allergic respiratory diseases have been assessed and reviewed previously, but this previous research has not focussed on such impacts in children in rural areas. The aim of this article is to provide an up-to-date, international, and holistic review of this topic. The article includes, for the first time, an assessment of changes in two extreme events, thunderstorms and tropical cyclones, and the resulting impacts on aeroallergens and allergic respiratory diseases in children in rural areas. The impacts of climate change, and in particular increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and temperature, may include for some plant species increases in pollen production, atmospheric pollen concentration, and pollen allergenicity, an earlier start to the pollen season, and changes to plant and pollen spatial distribution, such as poleward and upward range shifts. Climate change may also have an impact on allergic respiratory diseases in children in rural areas through impacts of extreme events on aeroallergens, including ‘thunderstorm asthma’ and ‘tropical cyclones, flooding and indoor mould’. Both mitigation and adaptation responses to these impacts are required. Examples of adaptation include enhanced aeroallergen monitoring and forecasting, tighter management of allergenic plant species, and continued research in particular aspects of this topic.
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