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Climate change, extreme weather events, air pollution and respiratory health in Europe

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  • Climate change, extreme weather events, air pollution and respiratory health in Europe

    http://erj.ersjournals.com/content/e...00074712.short
    Eur Respir J erj00747-2012; published ahead of print 2013, doi:10.1183/09031936.00074712
    Climate change, extreme weather events, air pollution and respiratory health in Europe

    Manuela De Sario*⇓,
    K Katsouyanni# and
    P Michelozzi*

    - Author Affiliations

    *Dept of Epidemiology, Lazio Regional Health Service, Roma, Italy
    #National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

    Manuela De Sario, Dept of Epidemiology, Lazio Regional Health Service, Italy, Via di Santa Costanza, 53, 00198 Roma, Italy, E-mail: []

    Abstract

    Due to climate change, air pollution patterns are changing in several urbanized areas of the world, with a significant effect on respiratory health both independently and synergistically with weather conditions; climate scenarios show Europe as one of the most vulnerable regions. European studies on heat wave episodes have consistently shown a synergistic effect of air pollution and high temperatures, while the potential weather-air pollution interaction during wildfires and dust storms is unknown. Allergens patterns are also changing in response to climate change and air pollution can modify the allergenic potential of pollens especially in presence of specific weather conditions. The underlying mechanisms of all these interactions are not well known; the health consequences vary from decreases in lung function to allergic diseases, new onset of diseases, exacerbation of chronic respiratory diseases, and premature death. These multidimensional climate-pollution-allergen effects need to be taken into account in estimating both climate and air pollution-related respiratory effects in order to set up adequate policy and public health actions to face both the current and future climate and pollution challenges.

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