While many hay fever symptoms are irritating rather than being serious this is not true for asthma. Many sufferers find that their conditions exacerbated by pollen, fungal spores and chemical particulates. In light of these direct impacts on the general public, it is important that society develops “early warning” systems for bioaerosol detection at both the national and local level.
The Fungal mOnitoring NeTwork ANd Algorithm (FONTANA) project will provide the Environmental Protection Agency, agricultural sector, Office of Environmental Enforcement, Met Éireann, policymakers (including the insurance industry), and the international scientific community with relevant, traditional, real-time and chemical data regarding fungal spores. This knowledge, particularly if is rapidly disseminated to immune-compromised members of the public and allergists, can be directly employed to help protect and improve both our natural environment and human health in Ireland. The potential for such data to be placed within innovative climate models also exists. Decreasing the associated uncertainties associated with such predictions. FONTANA builds upon previous EPA-funded projects involving real-time bioaerosol sensing.
Project Lead: David O’Connor, Technical University Dublin UCC/ERI PI: Stig Hellebust