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Monday, 21 July 2014 00:00

Experts call on the EU to include the pollen within regulations on air quality

The raising of allergies has alerted the scientific community The raising of allergies has alerted the scientific community CC

The Spanish Aerobiology Network joins in the common request of the European Aerobiology Society (EAS), the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) and the European Federation of Associations of Patients with Allergy and Respiratory Diseases (EFA) before the World Allergy Organization

Dr. Carmen Galán, Professor of Botany at the University of Cordoba and ceiA3 researcher, is responsible for the Quality Control Work Group within the European Network of aeroallergens (EAN)

An estimated 24% of European citizens, of which more than 40% are children, are currently suffering from an allergy caused by biological particles, such as pollen or mold spores. The "aggressiveness" of allergens from pollen and spores in the air is related to meteorology, air pollution, and the use of non-autochthonous species in urban areas, as well as the reduced crop diversity and vegetation in industrialized countries. This is why different aggregations and European agencies involved in this issue believe that there are enough reasons for these biological particles to be considered as pollutants and included in the list of particles to be controlled by governments, to ensure optimal air quality. They have informed the European Commission, which is currently reviewing the "Air Review Package", a set of measures affecting air quality in Europe, with the aim of improving the health of its citizens.  

The work group, which Carmen Galán, research professor of Plant Biology from the Agrifood Campus of International Excellence is a part of, has formulated a petition to the European institutions and the governments of the Member States. This petition claims the strengthening and control that the European Network of Aeroallergens has been carrying out for 30 years now, consisting of 350 sampling points across Europe. This action adds to the efforts of the European Network of Aeroallergens (EAN) to unify criteria and obtain a standard on detection and analysis of pollen and spores from the air. From its Quality Control Committee, chaired by Mrs. Galán, an initial proposal on standardization research was presented in September, at the International Congress of Aerobiology held in Sydney.

The proposal of the European Network is not new. In fact, it was filed more than one year ago, before the European Parliament. Now aerobiological scientists have sought the alliance of the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) and the European Federation of Associations of Patients with Allergy and Respiratory Diseases (EFA), to force the EU to consider the biological particles as pollutants.

At an international level, Carmen Galán, recently elected co-chair of the Committee on aeroallergens, within the World Allergy Organization (WAO), aims to design a worldwide atlas of aeroallergens for pollen and spores. This atlas provides knowledge about the allergens which we can be exposed to anywhere.

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