What is EAN?
EAN (“European Aeroallergen Network”) is a pool for the pollen and fungal spore data of European pollen information services, individual measurement sites as well as of data suppliers beyond Europe. The database was founded under control of Prof. Dr. Siegfried Jäger † (please see “More about the EAN database”) in 1988 and is administrated and developed since then by the Aerobiology and Pollen Information Research Unit, Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology at the Medical University of Vienna.
The network covers 38 countries and more than 600 measurement sites. Currently, up to 400 of those measurement sites are active. Up to 226 different aerobiological particles are evaluated, including especially relevant pollen and fungal spores for pollen and fungal spore allergy sufferers. EAN has 200 registered users and more than 100 active users. Users are simultaneously data suppliers as a rule. The usage of the European pollen database follows the principle: Who supplies data, is allowed to use data.
These data are used by scientists (mainly aerobiologists) especially within Europe to create forecasts, statistics, trends, scientific contributions about the pollen dispersal in Europe and to enable clinical trials, international projects and models. Currently forecast models like SILAM, MACC and COSMO-ART use also EAN pollen data. The database itself is the largest, non-commercial pollen data collection in the world.
The value of long time series in the European pollen database is inestimable. The longest, complete series that goes back to the year 1974 is recorded in Vienna. In addition there are many European measurement sites in Austria, Germany, France and Switzerland that show a gapless record since the 80s. These data are in particular important for climatological and allergological studies.
The EAN database is the basic tool for pollen forecasts and thus indispensable for pollen information service in whole Europe. The development of service activities in the recent years, e.g. the European load maps, the pollen diary for pollen allergy sufferers and the personalized pollen information would not have been possible without the European pollen database. Moreover, data is used for scientific projects of international scope (COST ES0603, HIALINE, PASODOBLE or AIS Life plus) and for clinical trials and are therefore of great importance to climatological, allergological, ecological and meteorological studies.