Authorities review mitigation of public concern on pollen-related allergies

Authorities review mitigation of public concern on pollen-related allergies
Photo: Jammu and Kashmir Information Department

Srinagar, May 17: In wake of public concern regarding spread of pollens of Russian poplar trees, the Deputy Commissioner (DC), Srinagar, Mohammad Aijaz Asad Tuesday chaired a meeting here to chalk out strategy and mitigation measures to overcome the pollen-related problems in the city.

Besides, Senior Health Experts of Valley including Dr Naveed Nazir, Dr Taha from SKIMS, Community Health Expert Dr Salim, Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Assistant Commissioner Development, Sub Divisional Magistrate West, Assistant Commissioner Panchayats, all City Tehsildars, District Panchayat Officer, All Block Development Officers, DFO Urban, DFO Social Forestry and other concerned were present in the meeting.

The meeting focused on all aspects relating to the Russian Poplar trees in the Srinagar District. Deliberating upon the issue, the Deputy Commissioner sought suggestions and opinions from the Health Experts and other Officers present in the meeting.

The Health experts unanimously refuted the popular misconception to blame poplar trees for allergy like throat infection, cough, itchy eyes and runny noses. They said that the actual fluffy particles seen in the air are actually massive particles and they don't cause allergies of such concern. However, it could be a carrier of some of the other pollen and fungal infections that cause allergic reactions.

“It is very important to make people aware that cotton seeds of female poplars do not induce any allergic conditions in humans. There is no authentic research from any expert from the field of forestry or any medical report that has so far revealed that cotton from female poplars or pollens from male Poplars directly cause any allergy or health issue. The problem of flying cotton fluffs can be tackled through systematic research and adopting short and long term measures. One of the steps could be pruning well ahead of pollination and adapting plantation of hybrid new age poplars free of cotton fluffs,” they said.

The meeting was further informed that “it is very important to make people aware that cotton seeds of female poplars do not induce any allergic conditions in humans.” “ However, it could be a carrier of some of the pollen and fungal infections that cause allergic reactions. People may be already suffering from allergies due to invisible pollens. An awareness campaign and set of precautionary measures can be given especially by the Health and Forest Departments.”

After hearing the opinions and suggestions of health experts, the DC stressed on making people aware about the public misconception about cotton seeds of female poplars causing allergic conditions in humans.

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