RESEARCH PAPER
Pollen spectrum and risk of pollen allergy in central Spain.
 
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1
Institute of Environmental Sciences, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo, Spain
2
Department of Botany, Ecology and Plant Physiology, University of Córdoba, Spain
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Rosa Pérez-Badia   

University of Castilla-La Mancha, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Toledo, Spain
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2010;17(1):139–151
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ABSTRACT
The present work analyses the airborne pollen dynamic of the atmosphere of Toledo (central Spain), a World Heritage Site and an important tourist city receiving over 2 millions of visitors every year. The airborne pollen spectrum, the annual dynamics of the most important taxa, the influence of meteorological variables and the risk of suffering pollen allergy are analysed. Results of the present work are compared to those obtained by similar studies in nearby regions. The average annual Pollen Index is 44,632 grains, where 70-90 percent is recorded during February-May. The pollen calendar includes 29 pollen types, in order of importance; Cupressaceae (23.3 percent of the total amount of pollen grains), Quercus (21.2 percent), and Poaceae and Olea (11.5 and 11.2 percent, respectively), are the main pollen producer taxa. From an allergological viewpoint, Toledo is a high-risk locality for the residents and tourist who visit the area, with a great number of days exceeding the allergy thresholds proposed by the Spanish Aerobiological Network (REA). The types triggering most allergic processes in Toledo citizens and tourists are Cupressaceae, Platanus, Olea, Poaceae, Urticaceae and Chenopodiaceae-Amaranthaceae. Allergic risk increases in 3 main periods: winter (January-March), with the main presence of the Cupressaceae type; spring, characterized by Poaceae, Olea, Platanus and Urticaceae pollen types; and, finally, late summer (August-September), characterized by Chenopodiaceae- Amaranthaceae pollen type, which are the main cause of allergies during these months.
eISSN:1898-2263
ISSN:1232-1966