The severity of the allergic reaction to pollen varies from person to person according to:
- the immune system of the sensitized person which reacts in different degrees to the allergen
- the type of pollen to which the person is allergic
- the intensity of the pollen season.
Since 1982 Sciensano has been monitoring the presence of pollens and fungal spores in the air through the Airallergy network.
This monitoring makes it possible for general practitioners and specialists to refine their diagnosis and for patients to prevent the symptoms of the pollen allergy by adapting their behaviour during risk periods.
The network Airallergy has 5 collection stations. The collection stations have devices for gathering pollen from the air called “Volumetric Spore Sampler”.
Placed on the roof, they collect the particles in the atmosphere transported by the wind. The air is drawn in through a slit calibrated to resemble the natural breathing of a human being, i.e. 10 litres of air per minute.
There are 5 stations in Belgium which collect the pollen present in the air:
- De Haan
The air pollen and fungal spore monitoring network has financial support from:
- Wallonia public service – Environment health permanent office
- Brussels Environment (Institut Bruxellois de Gestion de l’Environnement, IBGE)
- Flemish healthcare agency (Agentschap Zorg en Gezondheid)
- Province of Luxembourg — Preventative Healthcare Service