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More work needed to tackle hayfever

Air quality watchdog says local councils should limit the number of high-pollen trees in residential areas

AN AIR quality watchdog has called for strict limits on the planting of certain trees and plants to combat hayfever.

Aerobiology surveillance body RNSA has drawn up a list of 16 types - including birch, plane and ash trees - that it wants local councils to stop planting in residential areas and alongside busy roads.

The group says more needs to be done to tackle pollen emissions in the peak season. For example, local authorities should reduce the number of times that the grass in public gardens is cut during the summer.

RNSA director Michel Thibaudin, told Les Echos: "Day-to-day life for many people can turn into a real nightmare. Anti-histamines attack the symptoms of the illness but do nothing to treat it.

"We have drawn up a list of 16 trees with a strong allergy potential that should be avoided. A single ambrosia plant, for example, gives off billions of grains of pollen."

According to the group, the hayfever season begins this week, with an "explosion" in the amount of pollen admitted into the air, especially in Mediterranean areas.

The Pays de la Loire and Aquitaine should escape for another couple of weeks. The peak hayfever season begins in May.

French allergy observation committee CFOA says about 30% of people suffer from some form of hayfever and the number of people affected continues to grow.

The problem is hereditary - 50% of children whose parents have hayfever get it themselves.

beatuerk - Fotolia.com

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