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Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Wouldn’t it be nice – relief for hay fever sufferers

Thursday, 21 July 2016 | Posted by: Kirsten Wrede, European Coatings Journal

Every spring the torment starts anew: while green plants and colourful flowers start to bloom, my nose itches and I have to sneeze quite often. Even breathing at night becomes difficult. What a relief, when summer advances and pollen concentration decreases. If you are, like me, allergic to pollen, you will probably like this new research project.

Two biofunctional coating materials and new test set up for pollen adhesion/repellence may offer hay fever sufferers relief when using every day textiles, German scientists say.

In a joint pilot study, they have established some important basic principles for pollen management on textile surfaces. According to the researchers, they have developed two special anti-pollen textile finishing treatments. The two biofunctional technologies work in opposite ways: depending on which coating material is applied, it either repels the pollen or binds it in.

As the researchers say, it will now be possible to assess the pollen allergy risk posed by textile surfaces with the help of a pollen test bed. This in turn could bring relief to pollen allergy.

It’s funny, but apparently there has not been any effective textile protection for people allergic to pollen so far. Could that change now and bring relief to all those poor creatures, including me?

More than 30 percent allergy sufferers

Statistics vary, but I have read several times that more than 30 percent of the German population suffer from allergies, mostly hay fever. I don’t have any numbers for other European countries, but I’m sure that pressure is high there, too.

Pollen grains stick to your clothes, bed sheets, carpets, you name it. They don’t affect non-allergic people. But they give over-sensitive people like me a hard time, when they enter your respiratory system. And as these tiny particles find their way through every window, it’s almost impossible to get rid of them, I know that from painful experience. How often can you wash your clothes, your bed linen and your hair?

According to the project partners, the newly developed test set up for pollen adhesion/repellence could help textile manufacturers develop optimised clothing and domestic textiles in future for people who are allergic to pollen. This could ease the symptoms of hay fever. I can’t wait to see the project advance!

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Kirsten Wrede
European Coatings Journal
Kirsten Wrede
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