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Production of Allergenic Pollen by Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) Is Increased In CO2-Enriched Atmospheres

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Allergenic Pollen by Ragweed

Pollen allergies have been on a rise in recent times, and this study by Peter Wayne, and the center's former associate director, Paul Epstein, shows that increased carbon dioxide levels could be directly responsible.

In environmentally controlled greenhouses, the team grew two batches of ragweed. The batch, which was exposed to twice the carbon dioxide levels as the other, produced more pollen. The discussion ties this result to the large body of evidence that suggests the intricate link between allergies and climate change.

"Further studies may enable public health groups to more accurately evaluate the future risks of hay fever and respiratory diseases (eg, asthma) exacerbated by allergenic pollen, and to develop strategies to mitigate them," they write.

Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH

Aaron Bernstein is the Interim Director of The Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics.

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