What is a Pollen Calendar and Why is it required?
Recently Chandigarh received its first pollen calendar. It can identify potential triggers and provide clear information to allergy sufferers and clinicians. They would get to know the causes of their allergies and can limit their exposure to pollen as well. The study conducted in Chandigarh provides recent information highlighting the variability of crucial pollen types in various seasons. As per the study the main pollen seasons were spring and autumn with maximum species surfacing when phenology and meteorology is considered favourable for pollen.
"This will help prepare early advisories and disseminate them through media channels to the citizens so that they can use protective gear during the period when the concentration of allergic pollen will be high. It is also a preventive tool for sensitive people to diminish exposure when the levels of aero-pollen are high during specific periods,” the DST said.
Know all about the Pollen calendar below.
What is Pollen?
Pollen are the male biological structures of plants which have the primary role of fertilization. However when they are inhaled by humans, they can strain the respiratory system resulting in allergies.
What is a Pollen Calendar?
Pollen calendars inform about the time when the airborne pollen would be present in any geographical area. It is made for a custom area and is not generalised.It helps to prepare and spread early advisories to various channels so that citizens could take precautions.
Why is a Pollen Calendar needed?
It has been researched and informed that about 20-30 per cent of India's population suffers from allergic rhinitis/hay fever. Almost 15 per cent develop asthma too. Pollen are the major reasons for allergic rhinitis, asthma and atopic dermatitis as they are major outdoor airborne allergens. The pollen calendars would inform about the time dynamics of the airborne pollen taxa in graphical form.
Through these visual details about pollen throughout the year, the people could be more conscious and cautious.
Who made the Pollen Calendar for Chandigarh?
The Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh, was the one who examined various seasonal periodicities of airborne pollen spectrum. They developed the first pollen calendar for Chandigarh. The team led by Ravindra Khaiwal of the Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh made it possible. The team also included Ashutosh Aggarwal, Head of Department of Pulmonary Medicine at PGIMER, Associate Professor Suman Mor, and Akshi Goyal and Sahil Kumar, research scholars from Department of Environment Studies, Panjab University.
Professor Mor said, "The study aims to bring airborne pollen seasonal information to the susceptible population, healthcare professionals, policymakers, and scientists to be familiar with the current changes in the environment, which can further help develop mitigation strategies.”