Pollutants can increase allergy

In the search for "fresh air", other "air pollutants" lurk alongside pollen - and not just for allergy sufferers. Which pollutants surround us in everyday life and how you can protect yourself.

Pollenallergie Umweltgifte Quelle: BLACKDAY/Shutterstock.com - Copyright: Scientific DX GmbH, 2019

The air we breathe has a significant influence on the health of our respiratory tract. Of course, this affects everyone, but for allergy sufferers it can become a double risk. Environmental factors such as climate change and air pollution can increase the intensity of allergy triggers and individual symptoms. There are 2 reasons for this:

Longer pollen count times

On the one hand, the rising temperatures lead to longer pollen flight times. Plants become more resistant due to external stress and thus develop more allergens. The pollen itself also becomes more aggressive due to ozone, nitrogen oxides and other particles. Pollen thus release more proteins that trigger and cause allergies.

Harmful environmental influences

On the other hand, humans themselves are also weakened by harmful environmental influences. Pollutants such as exhaust fumes, ozone or nitrogen oxides irritate the lungs and mucous membranes. As a result, the tissue becomes more susceptible and can intensify (allergic) complaints. Fine dust also continues to be a problem and can lead to inflammation when exposed to high levels. Those who live in the city or another traffic-intensive area generally have an increased risk of developing asthma or other respiratory diseases.

When the home makes you sick

When people hear the word air pollution, they usually think of exhaust fumes from industrial bunkers or exhaust pipes. But pollutants are unfortunately not uncommon within our own four walls either. So-called residential toxins - also known as "sick building syndrome" - irritate the mucous membranes and can make people ill. Mold, fine dust or toxins (such as the infamous formaldehyde) - the list of pollutants is also long at home. For example, electronic devices such as laser printers, furniture (chipboard) or paints can pollute the air and promote asthma.

7 tips for clean indoor air

  • When buying paints or adhesives, look for an appropriate eco-label.

  • Ventilate regularly as a matter of principle (if possible, ensure that there is a draught with the doors open).

  • Particularly after a renovation, you should pay more attention to fresh air. This can prevent toxic fumes from varnishes or paints, for example, from accumulating in the room.

  • Printers and other devices can emit fine dust particles through ventilation and should therefore not be located in bedrooms or living rooms. If it is unavoidable, at least open the windows.

  • Various air fresheners or fragrance lamps in living rooms or toilets are popular, but they are made of artificial ingredients and irritate the respiratory tract. Those who do not want to do without special fragrances are better off with natural alternatives.

  • Room textiles such as curtains or carpets should be cleaned or aired in the washing machine before use and at regular intervals.

  • The same applies to new clothes, as a whole range of chemicals is usually used in their manufacture, it is particularly important to wash them before wearing them for the first time.


This article has been reviewed by unserem Medical-Team for accuracy of content.

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