There is an urgent need to understand how global and regional climate, land use and air quality changes will impact human health.
Our consortium constitutes an innovative and multidisciplinary approach to explore the combined pan-European impact of changes in climate, land use and air pollution on allergen pollen-induced diseases through a chain of quantitative physical and statistical models.
We plan to develop integrated and cross-disciplinary approaches to assess the health risks resulting from severe environmental changes and to design suitable adaptation policies.
We will study vulnerable groups of atopic patients and search for predictive biomarkers, and establish statistical models of disease response to pollen for assessing future trends and risks.
We will examine the effects of climate and air quality directly on pollen allergenicity using experimental animals.
Furthermore, we will maintain a dialogue with relevant stakeholders and provide recommendations for policy makers.
We chose to focus on the invasive and highly allergenic Ambrosia pollen because of the high rate at which it is spreading through Europe and the high frequency at which Europeans are becoming allergic to it with its consequent negative impact on health and the European economy.
The outcome of this state-of-the-art project is:
- improved understanding of the changes of multiple environmental factors and stressors on allergic disease,
- scenarios of allergic disease risk currently and in the future,
- useful information for response policies at national and European levels,
- increased awareness of allergic disease risk in response to multiple environmental changes,
- improved communication strategies between science and stakeholders,
- contribution to the Fifth IPCC Assessment Report (AR5) due in 2013-14,
- policy-relevant guidance to combat Ambrosia invasion and air pollutant interactions with aeroallergens.
With clear evidence for current and future global and regional climate, land use and air quality change, it is crucial to improve our understanding of how these environmental changes will impact