A Case Study of Birch Pollen and the Synergy with Environmental Factors: Relation to Asthma in Montreal, Canada
Atmosphere , Volume 12; doi:10.3390/atmos12060789
Abstract: Environmental factors such as air pollution are known to exacerbate respiratory illness and increase the overall health risk. However, on a daily or seasonal basis, the relation between air pollutants, weather and a disease such as asthma is not clear. When combined with aeroallergens such as birch pollen and under specific weather conditions, synergistic effects may increase symptoms of respiratory illness and morbidity and then reveal interesting links with environmental factors. Hence, it is important to improve the understanding of pollution-pollen-weather and broaden the public health message. Combined analysis and model simulation of aeroallergens, air pollution and weather as presented here is important to correctly evaluate health burdens and allow a better forecast of the potential health risk. However, analyzing the combined effects of several environmental factors is not well understood and represents a challenging task. This paper shows: (1) the results of data analysis performed in Montreal for asthma hospitalization in relation to complex synergistic environmental factors, and (2) model simulation of birch pollen using a coupled weather-air quality model (GEM-MACH) compared with model-data fusion of classical chemical species (e.g., near-surface ozone, nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter) in order to evaluate spatiotemporal vulnerable zone for asthma health risk.
Keywords: aeroallergens / air pollution / birch pollen / fine particulate matter / GEM-MACH model / population exposure / synergistic impact / asthma / weather
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