EFA is pleased to announce it has written a position paper on pollen forecasting in Europe. The paper draws attention to the fact that the current economic crisis is threatening the future of European pollen forecasting services, and calls on the EU to take action to prevent this.
EFA position paper calls for legislation to ensure pollen forecasting in Europe
EFA has written a position paper on the need to legislate for pollen forecasting in Europe, ahead of the European Year of Air in 2013 and the revision of the EU air legislation scheduled for September 2013.
80 million adults living in Europe suffer from allergy, and pollen grains are the most common allergy-provoking agents released by plants. In most European countries, however, pollen information services are based on voluntary work carried out by researchers. Furthermore, the economic situation is making it harder to maintain these services than ever before, placing huge numbers of people with allergy at increasing risk. At a time of increased mobility and travel for European citizens, when the need for accurate information on current and future pollen levels is crucial to managing allergy patients’ conditions, Europe cannot afford to let this continue.
In its paper, EFA makes a strong case for the introduction of legislation at EU level in order to ensure the continuation of these services for allergy patients in Europe. It states that these should become obligatory in any future European air quality framework programme, and that funding at national level should also be secured. The paper points out that the role non-governmental organisations can play in this, including patients’ groups, must also be clarified.
On the eve of the Year of Air, EFA hopes this paper will be a timely reminder to EU policy makers on the need to act to protect people with allergies in Europe.