Meteorological influences on respirable fragment release from Chinese elm pollen

Miguel, Ann G., Taylor, Philip E., House, James, Glovsky, M. Michael and Flagan, Richard C. 2006, Meteorological influences on respirable fragment release from Chinese elm pollen, Aerosol science and technology, vol. 40, no. 9, pp. 690-696, doi: 10.1080/02786820600798869.

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Title Meteorological influences on respirable fragment release from Chinese elm pollen
Author(s) Miguel, Ann G.
Taylor, Philip E.ORCID iD for Taylor, Philip E.
House, James
Glovsky, M. Michael
Flagan, Richard C.
Journal name Aerosol science and technology
Volume number 40
Issue number 9
Start page 690
End page 696
Publisher Taylor & Francis Inc.
Place of publication Philadelphia, Pa.
Publication date 2006
ISSN 0278-6826
Summary Exposure to airborne pollen from certain plants can cause allergic disease, leading to acute respiratory symptoms. Whole pollen grains, 15–90 μ m-sized particles, provoke the upper respiratory symptoms of rhinitis (hay fever), while smaller pollen fragments capable of depositing in the lower respiratory tract have been proposed as the trigger for asthma. In order to understand factors leading to pollen release and fragmentation we have examined the rupture of Chinese elm pollen under controlled laboratory conditions and in the outdoor atmosphere. Within 30 minutes after immersion in water, 70% of fresh Chinese pollen ruptures, rapidly expelling cytoplasm. Chinese elm flowers, placed in a controlled atmosphere chamber, emitted pollen and pollen debris after a sequential treatment of 98% relative humidity followed by drying and a gentle disturbance. Immunologic assays of antigenic proteins specific to elm pollens revealed that fine particulate material (D p < 2 μ m) collected from the chamber contained elm pollen antigens. In a temporal study of the outdoor urban atmosphere during the Chinese elm bloom season of 2004, peak concentrations of pollen and fine pollen fragments occurred at the beginning of the season when nocturnal relative humidity (RH) exceeded 90%. Following later periods of hot dry weather, pollen counts decreased to zero. The Chinese elm pollen fragments also decreased during the hot weather, but later displayed additional peaks following periods of more moderate RH and temperature, indicating that pollen counts underestimate total atmospheric pollen allergen concentrations. Pollen fragments thus increase the biogenic load in the atmosphere in a form that is no longer recognizable as pollen and, therefore, is not amenable to microscopic analysis. This raises the possibility of exposure of sensitive individuals to pollen allergens in the form of fine particles that can penetrate into the lower airways and pose potentially severe health risks.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/02786820600798869
Field of Research 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006, Taylor & Francis
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