ESSEM COST Action ES0603
Assessment of production, release, distribution and health impact of allergenic pollen in Europe (EUPOL)
Diseases due to aeroallergens are among major causes of a growing rate of morbidity and demand for healthcare. The overall prevalence of seasonal allergic rhinitis in Europe is about 15% and increasing. Adequate protective and pre-emptive measures require both the reliable assessment of production and release of various pollen species, and the forecasting of their atmospheric dispersion. The World Health Organization has therefore recommended new studies in the area. The pollen-related research is currently conducted within several scientific disciplines, countries and targeted activities; however, their coordination could be substantially improved. Several poorly understood complex biological, meteorological and climatic factors can significantly affect the timing and strength of pollen seasons. Their proper investigation requires an integrated approach. The proposed concerted Action will establish a multi-disciplinary forum for (i) the critical review of existing information and its use in current assessment systems, and finding out the gaps of knowledge; (ii) the improved co-ordination of on-going research; (iii) the development of a strategy and an action plan that aim to bridge the gaps of knowledge; (iv) strengthening the dialogue with end users. Specific research directions will be: Pollen Production and Release; Pollen Transport, Transformation and Interaction; Applications and collaboration with End Users.
Keywords: pollen; aerobiology; phenology; allergic season forecasting; air quality
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