, Volume 16, Issue 3-4, pp 407-416

A change from grass pollen induced allergy to tree pollen induced allergy: 30 years of pollen observation in Switzerland

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Pollen monitoring with a Hirst like pollen trap for 30 years in Basel, Switzerland allows understanding of the behaviour of the different plants producing allergenic pollens. It becomes evident that in this time period the different tree pollen like Hazel and Birch increased, whereas in the control, the observed amount of a herb pollen like Artemisa did not change. Moreover, it was observed that in the different trees flowering took place earlier namely at the beginning of the year. This was especially impressive for Hazel, where flowering was shifted ofmore than one month.

These aerobiological observations were supported and confirmed by some epidemiological studies, showing that tree pollen allergy has become more important in the last years compared to grass pollen allergy and herb pollen allergy.

The reason for the increase of tree pollen counts and the shift in the flowering time depends on the observed increase of the annual temperature, an increased input of nutrients like CO2or NOx but probably also a real increase of certain trees, like birch for example, in parks and avenues.

This revised version was published online in June 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.