Is there a connection between air pollution and hayfever?23/07/2014

Is there a connection between air pollution and hayfever

By EnviroVent

The number of people in the UK suffering from hay fever is expected to double over the next two decades according to experts at the National Pollen Research Unit. This is due to an increase in the level of air pollution in our towns and cities. There are currently around 15 million hay fever sufferers across the UK. Hay fever is an allergy to pollen which is produced by plants, trees and flowers, and the most common pollen allergy is to grass.

Air Pollution

Vehicle fumes are creating a ‘photochemical smog’ that acts as a barrier, trapping pollen and preventing it from escaping into the upper atmosphere. Pollen is then left lurking around at ground level within ‘sniffing’ distance of hay fever sufferers. Compared to the countryside, hay fever is likely to be twice as common in towns and cities simply because of the air pollution from the volume of traffic and the vehicle fumes emitted.

Hay fever can be miserable and depressing. The symptoms include itchy eyes, face pain and headaches caused by an allergy to pollen. Not everyone has the same symptoms and the severity can differ from person to person. Severe or mild symptoms can affect the following:

  • Sleep
  • School
  • Studying
  • Work

If you suffer from hay fever reducing your exposure to pollen should help, although this is not always easy or practical. Most hay fever sufferers will check the pollen count daily. During the spring and summer months the pollen account is usually given as part of the weather forecast.

Pollen is measured in the following way:

Pollen count = number of pollen grains in 1 cubic metre of air

On buildings (2 or 3 storeys high) air samples are collected in traps. The grains of pollen are collected on sticky tape or glass plates from the air that is sucked into the trap. The pollen is then counted. Every 2 hours samples are usually taken, the results are averaged over a period of 24 hours.

Pollen forecasting

  • Fewer than 30 grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air - Low
  • 30 – 49 grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air – Moderate
  • 50-149 grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air - High
  • 150 or more grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air –Very High

Getting fresh with Mr Venty

When it comes to city living, opening a window on a hot day may not be ideal if you sufferer from hay fever. In reality, keeping the window closed to prevent pollen from coming in is probably the best option but wouldn't it be nice to let in some fresh air? The good news is you can! By investing in a condensation control unit you will be provided with continuous fresh, filtered air on a daily basis. This means you and your home will benefit from fresh, clean air without having to open a single window.

Manufactured by EnviroVent as a condensation control unit, the system ventilates your home or apartment usually from a loft space, landing or hallway. What’s more, the Mr Venty Loft unit is fitted with a G4 filter that filters out large pollen particles. The Mr Venty units are easy to install and they will also safeguard your home from condensation and mould all year round.


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