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Planet Allergy: Climate Change Fuels Allergies

TORONTO – June 17, 2009: Allergic Living magazine reveals the startling relationship between our warming Earth and the global epidemic of allergies and asthma in its new cover story: Planet Allergy, on newsstands this week.

It holds a magnifying glass to an alarming increase in wasp sting reactions, the spread of highly allergenic weeds, toxic mould levels and even previously unheard-of triggers.

In her feature article, Allergic Living‘s Senior Editor, Claire Gagné gives the example of Fairbanks, Alaska, where there has been a tenfold increase in yellow jacket wasps, causing a rise in insect stings, cancelled school trips, and the first anaphylaxis deaths on record. Why the surge?

Dr. Jeffrey Demain, the director of the Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center of Alaska, explains that the queen wasps are surviving the winter – which is simply not as cold as it was.

Longer growing seasons and an abundance of carbon dioxide are causing much greater pollen production as well as the introduction of new plants. Gagné writes of the forest of the western Arctic rapidly shifting from fir to deciduous trees (with more pollen). And while ragweed is a recent arrival in Europe, it has rapidly become a huge health concern.

The magazine cites leading scientists who agree that as dramatic swings in weather patterns lead to wildfires and floods, there is a related and unprecedented impact on allergies and asthma attacks.

Allergic Living editor, Gwen Smith adds that “the health effects in the article are just a harbinger of what lies ahead unless real change comes soon.”  The question is, can we make the change.

To view an excerpt of Planet Allergy in the Summer issue of Allergic Living, click here.

Also in the Summer issue: Peanut Promise – Is desensitization therapy the solution to a peanut allergy?

Allergic Living is available by subscription (www.allergicliving.com) and at Chapters outlets,
Shoppers Drug Mart and London Drugs.

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For more information about this article, or to arrange an interview with Allergic Living editor
Gwen Smith, call Beth Sulman at 416-628-5602 or bsulman@hccink.com

Previous Media Releases

January 2009 - Airlines and Allergies
April 2009 - Backlash: The Nutty Debate over Food Allergies

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