Impact of Climate Change on Respiratory Health

Climate change represents a massive threat to respiratory health: 1) by directly promoting or aggravating respiratory diseases; or 2) by increasing exposure to risk factors for respiratory diseases. Climate change increases the amount of pollen and allergen produced by each plant, mould proliferation and the concentrations of outdoor ozone and particulate matter at ground level. 

The four main illnesses of concern are asthma, allergic rhino-sinusitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and respiratory tract infections.

The overwhelming scientific consensus is that we are experiencing anthropogenic global warming, this has impacts on weather, air and water quality, local and national food supplies, economics and many other critical health determinants.

The most critical biological component of ambient air is pollen. Its allergen is the driver of airborne allergic diseases that are very common in industrialised countries and its prevalence is increasing in the developed world. Climate changes affect allergenic plants and pollen distribution worldwide and few health studies have addressed the complex interactions between climate and pollen. Some of those interactions are increased plant growth, an increase in pollen produced by plants, an increase in the amount of allergenic proteins in pollen, longer pollen seasons and the changes in global geospatial distribution of pollen.

Heatwaves and changes in meteorological event regularity such as cyclones can stimulate asthma and have shown to increase asthma in children. Severe Thunder and lightening can also stimulate asthma by damaging the pollen structure releasing releasing allergen carrying particles.

You might be wondering how this all effects you in your home, well outdoor and indoor air quality have been well researched and the link between the two is unfortunately a close one, the outdoor air quality is closely mirrored indoors.

Those with pre-existing conditions will likely be hit the hardest and should take steps to reduce the levels of allergens and PM2.5 particles indoors and the areas they spend the majority of their time.

Fortunately there are some steps we can take to mitigate these impacts in our homes and offices, IQAir have developed the worlds most powerful portable high efficiency air purifiers. The HealthPro, CleanZone and Atem have all been designed with you in mind and there are a number of options depending on the room size and whether or not you would also like to remove odour as well.

IQAir have a system efficiency of 99.97% and use hospital grade HEPA filters to remove dust, allergens, bacteria, virus and even odour from you home or office. The filters have the longest lifespan of any unit on the market and the units create zero zone during their filtration.

Filtercorp Health has many of these units in stock and you can visit the store page for pricing information and delivery costs. If you would prefer the personal touch you can visit us at Kawana Street in Northcote, Auckland and we can show you the units on display.

If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with me via the contacts tab on this page or by clicking the link.


Climate change and respiratory diseases

Gennaro D’Amato, Lorenzo Cecchi, Mariella D’Amato, Isabella Annesi-MaesanoEuropean Respiratory Review 2014 23: 161-169; DOI: 10.1183/09059180.00001714

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