Danish health officials have said that allergy suffers in Copenhagen are worse off than those in other parts of the country.
The news comes via Astma-Allergi Danmark (AAD), the agency in charge of pollen-related health, which said that Copenhagen dwellers are hit with a one-two punch of pollen and pollution during the spring months.
The AAD’s top official, Janne Sommer, said that over the last 30 years that pollen counts in and around Copenhagen have jumped by a dramatic 400 percent. Experts blame the large number of birch trees planted in the metropolitan area in recent decades. As a result, some recent surveys have revealed Copenhagen as having nearly twice the pollen count of Roskilde, set just 30 kilometres away.
And experts say that the city’s air pollution can make pollen counts even worse. Sommer explained: “Studies have shown that trees growing in air polluted areas can somehow make the pollen more aggressive,” the Copenhagen Post reports. The agency also said that pollen drifting from neighbouring countries, primarily Germany, Sweden and Poland, is also boosting counts in the Danish capital.
Officials plan to put an end to the planting of any new birch trees within Copenhagen. There are about a million allergy sufferers in Denmark and health experts say that high concentrations of birch pollen will provoke violent symptoms for most or all of them.