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Biological and Chemical Air Pollutants in Urban Area of Central Europe: Coexposure Assessment

Category: Urban Air Quality

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DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.10.0365
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Łukasz Grewling 1, Agata Frątczak2, Łukasz Kostecki1, Małgorzata Nowak1, Agata Szymańska1, Paweł Bogawski3

  • 1 Laboratory of Aeropalynology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, 61-614 Poznań, Poland
  • 2 Plant Taxonomy Department, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, 61-614 Poznań, Poland
  • 3 Laboratory of Biological Spatial Information, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, 61-614 Poznań, Poland


Interactions of biological and chemical air pollutants increase the risk of allergy.
This study examines temporal coexposure to airborne pollen, spores, PM10 and ozone.
High temperature favored the cooccurrence of pollen grains, fungal spores and ozone.
PM10 and pollen/spores cooccurred within species-specific temperature range.
Allergy prevention strategy requires integrated biochemical air quality monitoring.


Synergistic interactions between biological and chemical air pollutants, enhanced by the effect of meteorological factors, may increase the risk of respiratory diseases. Therefore, to accurately evaluate the impact of air pollution on human health, the concomitant behavior of various air pollutants should be investigated. In this study, the peculiarities of the temporal coexistence of allergenic pollen (alder, birch, grass and mugwort), fungal spores (Alternaria and Cladosporium) and hazardous air pollutants (ground-level ozone and particulate matter, PM10) collected in Poznań (western Poland, 2005-2016) were analyzed with special attention on their relations with air temperature. The results of the statistical analysis showed that daily mean temperature recorded simultaneously with certain airborne particles (pollen, fungal spores and ozone) increased significantly their daily concentrations. However, the prolonged effect of high temperature recorded before grass and mugwort development decreased the overall number of produced and released pollen. In contrast, daily level of PM10 decreased with increasing temperature. As a result, the coexposure of alder pollen and PM10 was limited to a certain temperature range (4-10°C) and was mainly recorded during February and March. In most cases, a characteristic pattern was observed: the higher the temperature was, the more concomitant the occurrence of air pollutants. When birch and grass pollen cooccurred with other air pollutants, the temperature was significantly higher (by 2.0 to 8.0°C) than when only pollen grains were recorded. In general, high temperature favored the simultaneous occurrence of pollen grains, fungal spores and ozone, which was most pronounced during hot days in June and August. Such conditions should therefore be considered the most hazardous for people suffering from airway allergic diseases.


Bioaerosols Allergens Ozone PM10 Respiratory health

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