Did you notice this year that allergies were on the rise and that more of our children and gardener friends had poison ivy? Scientists are noticing too, and are looking more closely at the links between climate change and public health! According to studies published by the US National Library of Medicine and Duke University, scientists are studying how increases in carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas which in its “manmade” form is the number one contributing factor in global warming – is aggravating allergies and worsening the toxicity levels of poison ivy. High CO2 levels were shown to produce more allergenic forms of urushiol, the toxin in poison ivy that makes you itch. Also, ragweed, a common cause of seasonal allergies in adults and children, is producing more pollen with increases of CO2, causing more sneezing and asthma like symptoms. Studies are also pointing out that this CO2 laden pollen is more allergenic then other forms. If your kids are suffering more lately from seasonal allergies, they may be interested to hear how scientists are looking closely at the link between an increase in asthma, breathing related ailments, poison ivy, itching and climate change!
Stay tuned for more updates.