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Almost two-thirds of France on high pollen alert after warmer weather

Maps show which types of pollen are currently present in different departments

A woman in a field sneezing into a tissue

Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, the recent pleasant weather will mean higher pollen levels across France Pic: Altrendo Images / Shutterstock

The season of red, itchy eyes and sneezing is back as maps show over two thirds of France is currently on high alert for different pollen groups.

The latest risk map published by Réseau national de surveillance aérobiologique (RNSA) shows all departments in metropolitan France are on alert with 60 of them on high alert.

Photo credit: Screenshot / RNSA

Pollen types

In its most recent update on Friday (April 7), the RNSA said birch pollen “is spreading through the air like Easter eggs!” 

It added that the risk is high across the north-east of France while maps published show the risk is medium in the north west and low in the south. Birch is the most widespread - and impactful - pollen in France.

Hornbeam pollen (which is from the same family as birch) meanwhile is mostly present in the middle and east France while ash pollen levels vary from medium to low across the country, except in the Manche and Calvados departments in Normandy where alert levels are high.

In the south, there is a cocktail of oak, Cypress and weed pollens that will increase allergy risks “on springtime days”. Plane tree pollen has benefited from the warm weather to spread across France, but the risk level is still medium with “moderate” concentrations in towns.

Read More: France’s pollen season has begun. Here’s how to check levels near you

Meanwhile, levels of willow, poplar, oak and grass pollen pose low to medium risk levels across the country “from west to east”.

Practical advice for allergy sufferers

The RNSA has published practical advice for allergy sufferers, including:

  • Regularly read the pollen vigilance map on their website
  • Wash your hair in the evenings
  • Open the windows and air your house or flat for at least 10 minutes a day before sunrise/after sunset
  • Avoid drying clothes outside
  • Keep car windows closed
  • Avoid doing exercise/sport outside 

It also noted that pollution in big cities will exacerbate pollen allergies.  

Related Articles

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Pollen sensors show real-time data to hay fever sufferers in France

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