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Hayfever alert as spring arrives

Pollen levels will be three times the normal next week as good weather wakes up trees and grasses

HAYFEVER sufferers are in for a particularly bad time in coming weeks as the late arrival of spring means massive quantities of irritating pollen will be released at once.

The Réseau National de Surveillance Aérobiologique (RNSA) has warned that good weather forecast for next week will mean up to three times the usual amount of pollen in the air – causing maximum risk for allergy sufferers and even affecting those who do not normally sneeze.

Birch pollen is already present below the line Angoulême, Besançon but is expected to increase in the north next week which will also see ash and poplar trees releasing vast quantities of pollen. The south-west, from Pays de la Loire down to the Mediterranean and up the Rhône Valley, will be particularly badly hit by plane, oak and many different types of grass.

The RNSA has a pollen map on its website at www.pollens.fr showing almost the whole of France on yellow (medium) pollen alert but Var and Vaucluse are already on red (maximum) alert from plane and cypress pollen. It also has an "Alertes Pollens" app for smartphones.

There is some good news, as cypress pollen will start to reduce in the next week

Pollen counts are generally highest on warm, breezy mornings and lowest on cool and rainy days but other airborne pollution from traffic is also high on bright sunny days. The RNSA advises allergy sufferers to brush their hair and have a shower after being out on bright days.
Photo: DPix Center - Fotolia.com

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