Wednesday, 26 November 2008

'Know your air for health' site to help communicate EU air quality information

Air pollution affects us in many ways, often more than we realize. Obvious effects are those which directly impact on human health. Aspergillus species produce airborne spores which we all breathe in on a daily basis. For most of us in good health that is not a problem but for people with immune suppression, asthma and other problems which weaken the immune system, Aspergillus spores can infect a person and become a serious threat to health if not suspected and treated early.
Air quality and "Know your air for health" is a joint project by the Health & Environment Alliance (HEAL) and the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Associations (EFA). Their website's main objective is to help communicate EU air quality information and alerts to allergy, asthma and COPD patients in Europe. The site contains much information on EU legislation on ambient air quality and specifically on emissions. Amongst many useful links "Find your EU pollen forecast" takes you to http://www.polleninfo.org/ where a europe-wide breakdown of pollen spore forecasts can be summarised or viewed for an individual country. Pollen types and mould spores are listed individually in a typical pollen forecast. A Countdown service to the start of the pollen/spore seasons and data charts of pollen counts for individual sites and regions are available for clients of Pollen UK. Much information is available on the site and historical data from ~300 pollen monitoring stations has been used to produce load maps of the likely intensity of pollen loads for a given month and area.

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