Titolo della tesi: Characterization of airborne pollen in Rome and its region through conventional and innovative approaches aimed at occupational health
This thesis is the outcome of a collaboration between the Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL) and Sapienza University of Rome, focused on the distribution of airborne pollen in different environments in the city of Rome and its surroundings, with the aim of evaluating human exposure to airborne pollen in the context of occupational health. The objectives of the thesis were carried out through several, multifaceted activities. A bibliometric analysis of scientific literature explored the main research areas in aerobiological research and highlighted the need for more in-depth studies focused on occupational environments. The analysis of pollen concentration in working areas, both indoor and outdoor, allowed estimating the potential usage of both conventional and real-time samplers in aerobiological monitoring. To deepen the knowledge on pollen distribution and dispersal, pollen monitoring was compared to the potential source areas of pollen, by evaluating the vegetation distribution in the city of Rome and its region, in areas with different levels of urbanization. A vast amount of information on airborne pollen was gathered from the urban area of Rome, where a Hirst-type sampler was used for aerobiological monitoring at the Sapienza University Campus, providing annual data on daily pollen concentration. This data provides useful insights into the distribution of allergenic pollen throughout a solar year and suggests varied mitigation measures to avoid or reduce exposure to pollen for a large population of students and workers frequenting the Campus.