Biologists find link between birch growing area and its allergenicity 18:53

Birch trees grown in heavily polluted urban areas have higher allergen levels in their pollen. About informs Guard.

Birch pollen is one of the strongest allergens. According to statistics, about 25% of people with hay fever are allergic to it. Polish scientists Dorota Myszkowska and colleagues collected pollen samples from birch trees growing in seven locations in southern Poland’s MaƂopolska region, including a woodland, low-traffic streets and three areas of Krakow city. They measured the concentration of the key allergen Bet v1. The male catkins were collected in early spring before the flowers were fully opened. The researchers also examined air pollution patterns in seven areas, including nitrogen oxides and small particles of PM2.5 and PM10.

The mean concentration of Bet v1 turned out to be highest in pollen grown in areas with high nitrogen oxide concentrations. Samples from one site in Krakow had a Bet v1 concentration of about 3,000 nanograms per 10 mg of pollen, compared to about 750 nanograms per 10 mg in forested samples.

Therefore, the effects of allergies may depend not only on the number of birch trees in the area, but also on the local ecology.

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Source: Gazeta

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