Ambrosia: dogs track down plants that are dangerous for allergy sufferers

Allergy triggers: dogs track ambrosia
Ambrosia is one of the strongest allergenic plants in the world. In this country, too, it is spreading further and further. In the future, dogs will be used in Berlin to track down the plant, which is dangerous for allergy sufferers. The first animals already received appropriate training.

One of the strongest allergenic plants ever
According to experts, ambrosia is one of the strongest allergenic plants in the world. About 80 percent of all allergy sufferers are allergic to ragweed. In addition, the herb can provoke hypersensitivity even in previously insensitive people without allergies. According to the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI), allergies to ragweed often lead to cross allergies. More than enough reasons to restrict the spread of the plant more. In Berlin, they are now also relying on dogs.

Extensive spread of the imported ragweed plant
The massive spread of the ragweed plant has been pointed out for years. The herb brought in from North America now also finds suitable growing conditions in this country. Given the high allergenic potential of ragweed, discovered plants should be removed urgently. In the past, public planting efforts have already taken place.

Dogs track down dangerous plants in green areas
Scientists at the Free University of Berlin (FU) are now pursuing the idea of ​​using dogs as ambrosia sniffers. As the meteorologist Thomas Dümmel from the university told the German Press Agency, in a first attempt a dog trainer had successfully trained its own animals to track down the plant, which is dangerous for allergy sufferers, in green areas and on the roadside. Accordingly, the idea arose to encourage other dog owners to use their four-legged friends in the search for the plants.

People contribute to the spread
According to the information, the current year was relatively relaxed for allergy sufferers in Berlin. In contrast to Brandburg, the pollen levels in the capital were moderate.

However, the ambrosia plant has spread widely in Berlin's urban area in recent years, according to a leaflet by the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment. “This was not only ensured by the high seed production of the plant and its enormous adaptability. For example, by spreading soil and humus or using bird feed containing ambrosia seeds to help spread it, ”write the experts.

Ten pollen per cubic meter of air is enough
“Already ten pollen per cubic meter of air are enough to trigger symptoms such as tears, itchy eyes, sensitivity to light, headache, fatigue and hay fever in pollen allergy sufferers. An exceptionally high proportion of those affected also suffer from respiratory problems up to asthma, ”it continues.

On the Berlin-Brandenburg Ambrosia Atlas you can enter, among other things, whether you have found ambrosia plants, whether they have been removed or whether there are photos of them. (ad)

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