Pollen: A Challenge for Environmental Information Services
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Diseases due to aeroallergens, such as rhinitis and asthma, are among major causes of loss of productivity and demand for healthcare. The adverse health effects of allergens can be significantly reduced by either pre-emptive medical measures or behavioural adaptation of the outdoor activity. However, their planning requires reliable allergy-related forecasts several days ahead. Such forecasts should include the start time of pollen season, expected pollen concentration, area of exposure to a particular pollen type, timing of the peak concentrations and durations of the high season. This paper presents a current status of the Finnish Pollen Forecasting system. The system has been already used for operational pollen forecasts during spring of 2007 and also the systematic re-analysis of historical periods is ongoing.