Climate change grows more allergen-producing plants and fungi – rising CO2, temperatures can raise allergen levels

Scientists have been discussing the effects of climate change with regards to allergies at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). Research suggests that leaves fed by heightened levels of CO2 enable fungi to reproduce more rapidly and therefore spread more allergenic spores, which will lead to higher rates of asthma and other allergies. Climate change will also cause indoor humidity to increase, meaning household allergens such as dust mites and mould will rise in number and affect people with household allergies.

35 million people suffer from allergies to ragweed, fungal spores and poison ivy among other allergens, and these plants are all thriving due to climate change. The "Climate Change and Its Impact on Respiratory Health" Symposium is presented by ACAAI under contract with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Source: American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (ACAAI)

First published in 2010

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