Intradiurnal variations of allergenic tree pollen in the atmosphere of Toledo (central Spain).

Institute of Environmental Sciences, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo, Spain. rosa.perez@uclm.es
Ann Agric Environ Med 2010;17(2):269–275
To study the impact of inhaling airborne pollen on health, it is important to know not only their average daily concentrations but also the intradiurnal behaviour of these biological particles. This study reports the bi-hourly distribution of the arboreal airborne pollen types more abundant in the atmosphere of Toledo (central Spain), many of them triggering important allergic processes in Toledo citizens and tourist visitors. Knowledge of bi-hourly pattern atmospheric variation pollen may help pollinosis patients to adopt preventive measures and plan their outdoor activities accordingly. Intradiurnal variation has been studied for the arboreal pollen types: Cupressaceae, Fraxinus, Olea, Platanus, Populus, Quercus and Ulmus, during the period 2005-2008. The main hourly pollen concentrations were observed during sunlight hours and the maximum pollen values obtained at midday and in the afternoon, except for pollen types Quercus and Platanus, whose maximum pollen concentrations were obtained during the night. The statistical analyses performed to compare pollen concentration and main hourly meteorological variables proved to be significant for most of the taxa. The results show a significant and positive effect of temperature, solar radiation and wind speed on the daily variability undergone by atmospheric pollen. Relative humidity influenced in a negative way on the intradiurnal variation of pollen in the atmosphere of Toledo.