Ragweed season is at its peak, bringing bad news for the more than 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies to the plant.
Three out of four Americans who have allergies are allergic to ragweed.
A single plant produces hundreds of millions of pollen grains that cause hay fever. Due to the grains’ light weight, they can travel up to 400 miles with the breeze.
Dr. Clifford Bassett, of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York, says ragweed allergies affect more and more people; he says that over the past three years, he has seen about 50 percent more new allergy patients.
“We’re really looking at an epidemic of new patients, children and adults alike, with allergies, as well as asthma coming in for the very first time,” Bassett told.
The planet is getting warmer, which is making weeds grow faster, causing them to produce more pollen. The increased pollen production has made allergies and asthma worse across the country.
Researchers from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology say that they have decisively linked climate change to “longer pollen seasons, greater exposure and increased disease burden for late summer weeds, such as ragweed.”
Scientists have found that increased carbon dioxide has resulted in pollen production increases of 60 percent to 90 percent in some ragweed varieties.
Read more at ABC News