They have worse-than-average scores for all pollen and allergy medicine use, and an average number of allergy specialists.
Seven Florida cities are among the top 20 US “allergy capitals,” according to a report by The Asthma and Allergy Foundation (AAFA) released on Wednesday.
More than 100 million Americans have various types of allergies yearly, including seasonal ones.
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AAFA’s report explores how challenging it is to live with seasonal allergies in the top 100 US cities yearly. To do so, the foundation analyzes these key factors: tree, grass, and weed pollen scores, over-the-counter allergy medication use, and the availability of board-certified allergists and immunologists.
The first Florida city to appear on the list is Sarasota, in sixth place. According to the report, the city has worse-than-average scores for all pollen and allergy medicine use, and an average number of allergy specialists.
The same reason made Cape Coral and Orlando rank seventh and eighth, respectively.
Miami and Lakeland were ranked 14th and 15th, respectively, while Palm Bay was 17th and Tampa placed 18th.
AAFA made clear the importance of cities addressing climate change, because allergies and asthma are part of the impact it is having on the health of citizens.
The foundation said climate change is creating more ground-level ozone, longer and stronger pollen seasons, and the worsening of urban heat islands.
“The science clearly shows that communities across the nation are seeing the health impacts of climate change, causing a public health emergency. Everyone’s health is at risk, especially infants, children, seniors, low-income communities, communities of color, people with disabilities, and people with chronic diseases like asthma, or who are pregnant,” AAFA wrote in a press release.
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Gov. Ron DeSantis has been heavily criticized for his inaction on climate change. When asked by a reporter during a press conference held in December of 2021 what his administration was doing to fight climate change, the governor answered “We’re not doing any left-wing stuff.”
“For more than 20 years, Florida has been in denial and doing the bare minimum, or nothing, to take care of our environment. If instead of depending on fossil fuels that are hurting our environment, we decided to go solar, the savings and the health benefits would be amazing, but we are going in the other direction. Sadly, at this point, Florida is going backwards,” María Revelles, former director of Chispa Florida, told Floricua.