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Allergies and Sneezing

IT'S NOT YOUR IMAGINATION: ALLERGIES ARE ON THE RISE

If you think you're sneezing more often, it's not just you. Allergies are increasing dramatically worldwide.

Part of the blame for increasing allergies may lie with global climate change. Scientists see a link between the rise in allergies and increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), a heat-trapping greenhouse gas emitted by burning coal, oil, and other fossil fuels. Tests show that the more CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere, the more plants generally grow and the more pollen they produce. Plants have been flowering significantly earlier over time. In combination with warmer winters, this is leading the spring season to advance by approximately 0.8 days per year.

With seasonal allergies fluctuating due to changing weather patterns, it's clear the increase in symptoms you may be wondering about is anything but just your imagination.

Sources:

 

1. WAO White Book on Allergy 2011-2012. World Allergy Organization website.   http://worldallergy.org/definingthespecialty/white_book.php Published 2012. Accessed March 2014.

2. The Center for Health and the Global Environment Harvard Medical School, Climate Change Futures:  Health, Ecological, and Economic Dimensions, http://www.eird.org/isdr-biblio/PDF/Climate%20change%20futures.pdf Published November 2005. Accessed 2014.