Delhi to start monitoring pollen pollution

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Delhi constantly struggles with air pollution arising from harmful gases and particulate matter. In addition, pollen grains of different plant species spread in the air during early winter and spring, affecting people suffering from respiratory diseases.

But now, a digital pollen count monitor for the public has been set up at Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute (VPCI) at Delhi University. The monitor was inaugurated by India’s Union Minister of Health, J.P. Nadda, on the occasion of the 69th Foundation Day of VPCI. The city’s pollen count will now be displayed at the hospital and the institute website so that people who are predisposed to pollen allergies can take preventive measures.

“While much effort is being made towards raising awareness on the impact of pollution on health, the effect of pollen on patients with respiratory problems is not being given much importance, even though it affects a significant number of patients. Apart from vehicular and industrial emissions, increased pollen levels in the atmosphere also trigger asthma and allergic reactions. Pollen grains, fungal spores, insect debris, dust mites and animal epithelium are also agents of pollution,” says Prof. Rajkumar, acting director of VPCI and Head of the Pulmonary Medicine Department and National Center of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology at the Institute.

He adds, “The pollen concentration starts increasing in the months of September, October, and November and starts declining in December. The pollen level again aggravates during spring season. The increase in pollen count leads to an increase in the number of patients suffering from respiratory problems. The digital display board at the institute will enable people with chronic allergies to be better prepared for a dusty or high-pollen day on the road. It will also help create awareness about pollen concentration in the air, which is one of the major reasons for repeated asthma attacks in patients.”

“Now people can check the pollen count display and take preventive measures such as taking anti-histamines or staying indoors and minimising health risk,” says Prof. Rajkumar.

Pollens are fine powder that comes from the stamen of flowering plants. They can trigger allergic reactions, such as a runny nose, sore throat, coughing, headaches and asthma. Pollen count monitors can be an indispensable resource to manage symptoms related to respiratory diseases in patients, experts say.

via Delhi to start monitoring pollen pollution | The Weather Channel

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