Pollen calendar

  • IASbaba
  • September 11, 2021
  • 0
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Pollen calendar

Part of: GS Prelims and GS- III –  Environment

Context Recently, Chandigarh got its first Pollen calendar, arguably the first for any city in India.

What is a Pollen Calendar?

  • Pollen calendars represent the time dynamics of airborne pollen present in a particular geographical area. 
  • They yield readily accessible visual details about various airborne pollen present throughout the year in a single picture.
  • Pollen calendars are location-specific, with concentrations closely related to locally distributed flora.
  • Europe, UK and the US are using regional pollen calendars in a big way to prevent and diagnose allergic rhinitis/hay fever and predict the timing and severity of the pollen season.

Significance of a pollen calendar?

  • A pollen calendar provides a clear understanding for clinicians, as well as people with allergies to identify the potential allergy triggers and help to limit their exposure during high pollen load season.
  • The early advisories can be prepared and disseminated through media channels to the citizens 

About Chandigarh’s Pollen calendar

  • The pollen calendar for Chandigarh was prepared by studying airborne pollen and its seasonal variations for about two years.
  • The study highlights the variability of crucial pollen types in different seasons. Spring and autumn are two seasons when airborne pollen dominate. 

Pollen & its impact on Human health-

  • Pollen grains are male biological structures with the primary role of fertilisation, but when inhaled by humans, they may strain the respiratory system and cause allergies. 
  • Pollen found suspended in air can cause widespread upper respiratory tract and nasobronchial allergy with manifestations like asthma, seasonal rhinitis, and bronchial irritation.
  • About 20-30% of the population suffers from allergic rhinitis/hay fever in India, and approximately 15% develop asthma. 
  • Pollen is considered a major outdoor airborne allergen responsible for allergic rhinitis, asthma, and atopic dermatitis in humans.
  • Trees such as palms, nettle, safeda, white mulberry (shahtoot), congress grass, pine, have a high incidence of pollen.

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