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J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2018 Nov - Dec;6(6):1869-1876. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2018.05.020. Epub 2018 Aug 7.

Landscape Plant Selection Criteria for the Allergic Patient.

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Allergy and Clinical Immunology Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, WVa. Electronic address:
Department of Biological Science, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Okla.
UL Environment, Marietta, Ga.
Allergen Science and Consulting, Lenoir, NC.
Division of Allergy/Immunology, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Mo.
Oklahoma Allergy & Asthma Clinic, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, Oklahoma City, Okla.


Patients with pollen-related allergies are concerned about the species within their landscape that provoke their symptoms. Allergists are often asked for guidance but few information sources are available to aid patients in the recognition of allergenic plants and strategies to avoid personal exposure to them. Landscaping and horticultural workers also have few reliable guidance references, and what is available usually extols the virtues of the plants rather than their negative features. The aim of this article was to provide the results of the Landscape Allergen Working Group that was formed by the AAAAI Aerobiology Committee, which aimed to fill these existing knowledge gaps and develop guidance on producing a low-allergenic landscape. Within the context that complete pollen avoidance is unrealistic, the workgroup introduces selection criteria, avoidance strategies, and guidance on low-allergenic plants that could be selected by patients to reduce the overall pollen burden in their landscape environment. Specific focus is placed on entomophilous plants, which require insects as dispersal vectors and generally produce lower quantities of pollen, compared with anemophilous (wind-pollinated) species. Other biological hazards that can be encountered while performing landscaping activities are additionally reviewed and avoidance methods presented with the aim of protecting gardeners, and workers in the landscape and horticulture industries. The guidance presented in this article will ultimately be a helpful resource for the allergist and assist in engaging patients who are seeking to reduce the burden of allergen in their landscape environment.


Allergy; Biological hazards; Landscape; Plants; Pollen


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