Asthma & Allergies

Rising temperatures and more rain will make the pollen and ragweed seasons longer and more intense.   For people with allergies, hay fever, and asthma, more pollen in the air can make breathing difficult.

The image below shows that that the ragweed season has already gotten longer in the last two decades. The numbers inside the yellow, orange, and red circles show how many more days the ragweed pollen season lasted in 2011 compared to 1995. The blue circles show how many fewer days the ragweed pollen season was in 2011 compared to 1995. The place of the circle on the map shows where that change happened. For example, the ragweed season around Madison, Wisconsin was 13.2 days longer in 2011 than it was in 1995. The ragweed season got 27 days longer in some areas.

Warmer temperatures will also make ozone pollution worse. Ozone pollution is the main ingredient in ‘smog’ and it is created by the combination of burning fossil fuels, (like car exhaust and power plant smokestacks) and heat. Ozone pollution can make asthma and emphysema worse.  You can check out the quality of your air on a daily basis on EPA’s Air Quality Index. People with heart and lung problems should stay inside and in cool places on days when the air quality is bad.

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