Climate Change Will Make You Sneeze - How Seasonal
Allergies Are Affected by Climate Change
by Harriet Shugarman
allergies are on the rise among our family and friends, and that more of our children
and gardener friends have poison ivy, both later into the fall and earlier in the spring,
you are not alone. 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 are 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. CO2 is the gas the is
produced when we burn fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal, and is linked to about 80%
of the man made greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. As we use more electricity,
heating and cooling our homes, factories and businesses, and as we drive more in
our gas-powered vehicles, we are burning fossil fuels, producing C02. The level of
CO2 has been steadily increasing in our atmosphere since the industrial revolution.
Scientists tell us that pre-industrial revolution CO2 levels never rose above 270 parts
per million (ppm) for at least the last 800,000 years.

In the past 150 years we have seen C02 levels steadily rise, they are at 387 ppm
and climbing. Why this is important is that as the level of C02 rises the ability of our
atmosphere to heat up at an unnatural pace rises too; as C02 rises, so does
temperature. Scientists are telling us that if we allow annual global temperatures to
rise by 2.5 degrees we will face unchecked and catastrophic consequences from
climate change. We are well on our way. There are also strong signals from scientists
that we need to reduce the C02 levels back to 350ppm, a task that will require
strong and coordinated action, and each of us to play a role in reducing our individual
and collective carbon footprints!

So, if you or 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, and you
may want to find out more about ways to reduce your carbon footprint!


About The Author

Harriet Shugarman

Climate Mama is an online climate change education, advocacy and information site.
We will give you the facts on Climate Change. We will give it to you straight, in a clear
and easy format to understand, from trusted and reliable sources that have been
vetted and triple checked. We want you to feel empowered, that you are doing what
you can to ensure that the world they inherit is a world that is as precious, as
vibrant, as healthy and as alive, as the one you grew up in.  
Are you or the children in your life
suffering more this year from allergies
than previous seasons? It seems to
be a news item almost every day, as
more and more people are
developing allergies for the first time,
or those that have them seem to
have worse symptoms. Did you
know that there is a relationship
between climate change and
allergies? Public health experts are
studying how the incident of allergies
and poison ivy are affected by global
warming and climate change.

If you are noticing this year that
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