Tree Pollen Spectra and Pollen Allergy Risk in the Osijek-Baranja County

Sikora, Magdalena; Valek, Marina; Šušić, Zdenka; Santo, Vera; Brdarić, Dario
March 2013
Archives of Industrial Hygiene & Toxicology / Arhiv za Higijenu ;Mar2013, Vol. 64 Issue 1, p115
Academic Journal
The forests of north-eastern Croatia, as well as various plants and trees in the parks and streets of the Osijek-Baranja County, produce large amounts of pollen during the pollen season, which can cause allergy symptoms in pollen sensitive individuals. The aim of this study was to determine the most frequent types of pollen in this area and estimate possible health risks, especially the risk of allergy. In 2009 and 2010, the staff of the Health Ecology Department of the Osijek Public Health Institute monitored tree pollen concentrations in four cities from the Osijek - Baranja County (Osijek, Našice, Đakovo and Beli Manastir) using a Burkard volumetric instrument. The results were affected by weather conditions. Windy and sunny days facilitated the transfer of pollen, whereas during rainy days, the concentration of pollen grains decreased. High pollen concentrations of Cupressaceae/Taxaceae, Betulaceae, Salicaceae and Aceraceae could be the cause for symptoms of pollen allergy. In 2009, conifers, birch and poplar pollen were dominant at all monitoring stations with 5000 pollen grains (PG), 3188 PG and 3113 PG respectively. The highest number of pollen grains was recorded at measuring site Osijek. The variations in airborne pollen concentration between pollen seasons were recorded at all monitoring stations. The most obvious variations were recorded at measuring site Osijek. The usual pollination period lasts two to three months, which means that most pollen grains remain present from February to early June. However, the Cupressaceae / Taxaceae pollination periods last the longest and their pollen grains remain present until the end of summer. The risk of allergy was determined at four monitored measuring stations and the obtained data confirmed that the largest number of days with a high health risk was at the Đakovo measuring station for a species of birch. The research information aims to help allergologists and individuals allergic to plant pollen develop preventive measures and proper treatment therapies.


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