|Title:||Phenology and human health : allergic disorders : report on a WHO meeting Rome, Italy 16-17 January 2003|
|Authors:||World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe|
|Publisher:||Copenhagen : WHO Regional Office for Europe|
|Abstract:||With the European phenology network (a European-Commission funded project (EVK2-2000-20005)) and the International Centre for Integrative Studies (ICIS), WHO organized a workshop to discuss the associations between weather, climate change, phenology, pollen trends and allergic disorders, and the possible need to adapt pollen forecasting to a changing climate. The participants included allergologists, bioallergologists, climatologists, epidemiologists, general practitioners, paediatricians and a mathematician. The prevalence of asthma, allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis and eczema in Europe has increased during the second half of the 20th century. The sensitization to pollen allergens has also increased in many areas in Europe. The geographical distribution of plants with allergenic pollen and allergic sensitivity to pollen allergens varies greatly across Europe. But on average the length of the growing season in Europe has increased by 10-11 days over the last 30 years. An earlier start and peak of the pollen season are more pronounced in species that start flowering earlier in the year. The duration of the season is extended in some summer- and late-flowering species. Evidence is growing that climate change might facilitate the geographical spread of particular plant species to new areas as they become climatically suitable. Warming is likely to further cause an earlier onset and may extend the duration of flowering and pollen season, for some species (such as grasses and weeds). Some species, such as ragweed and mugwort, present particular risks for health, and require land use measures, maintenance of public areas, or eradication. The impact of climate change on the incidence, prevalence, distribution and severity of allergic disorders is still uncertain. The numerous scientific disciplines involved highlight the need for an expert task force to devise a common basis of knowledge by sharing scientific, technical and managerial know-how, which is plentiful. The workshop participants recommended multidisciplinary collaboration to further clarify the relationship between changing climate, allergens and allergic disorders and to improve forecasting accuracy and effectiveness|
|Gov't Doc #:||EUR/03/5036791|
|Appears in Collections:||Technical documents|
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