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Impact of environmental nitrogen pollution on pollen allergy: A scoping review

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

The current rise in the prevalence of allergies to aeroallergens is incompletely understood and attributed to interactions with environmental changes and lifestyle changes. Environmental nitrogen pollution might be a potential driver of this increasing prevalence. While the ecological impact of excessive nitrogen pollution has been widely studied and is relatively well understood, its indirect effect on human allergies is not well documented. Nitrogen pollution can affect the environment in various ways, including air, soil, and water. We aim to provide a literature overview of the nitrogen-driven impact on plant communities, plant productivity, and pollen properties and how they lead to changes in allergy burden. We included original articles investigating the associations between nitrogen pollution, pollen, and allergy, published in international peer-reviewed journals between 2001 and 2022. Our scoping review found that the majority of studies focus on atmospheric nitrogen pollution and its impact on pollen and pollen allergens, causing allergy symptoms. These studies often examine the impact of multiple atmospheric pollutants and not just nitrogen, making it difficult to determine the specific impact of nitrogen pollution. There is some evidence that atmospheric nitrogen pollution affects pollen allergy by increasing atmospheric pollen levels, altering pollen structure, altering allergen structure and release, and causing increased allergenic reactivity. Limited research has been conducted on the impact of soil and aqueous nitrogen pollution on pollen allergenic reactivity. Further research is needed to fill the current knowledge gap about the impact of nitrogen pollution on pollen and their related allergic disease burden.
Tijdschrift: Science of the Total Environment
ISSN: 0048-9697
Volume: 893
Jaar van publicatie:2023