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Hay Fever

10 Mar 2014

It’s spring again. Weather becomes nicer and pollen start to fly around. I suffer from hay fever and this means sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose for the next months. I usually take some antiallergics, but they don’t reduce the symptomps completely.

Today I was researching about hay fever again, and I stumpled upon an article that suggests carbon dioxide emissions as cause for raising pollen counts and thereby the hay fever rise in European cities. It seems that messing with nature remains a zero sum game and burning through fossil fuels has additional costs we didn’t thought of.

Another interesting point from the article was that many cities plant too often exactly those trees that trigger the symptoms, e.g. birches. I was wondering whether alternative trees exist that produce less pollen or at least pollen to which less people are allergic. It would be a simple but effective measure.

Another interesting article I found was about pollen and allergy-free trees, developed by scientists through DNA manipulation. It sounds like a great idea, but I’m not sure whether this is just another discovery where we underestimate the longterm consequences. Fixing the root cause and emitting less CO2 might be the better idea.

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