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Red alert for birch pollen across most of northern France

We look at how people with allergies can help control their symptoms 

Much of northern, northeastern and central France is on red alert for birch pollen today (April 13) Pic: Bearfotos / Shutterstock

Around 50 departments in northern, northeastern and central France have been placed under a red pollen alert today (April 13), due to high birch pollen levels. 

The Réseau national de surveillance aérobiologique (RNSA), which monitors the particles circulating in the air, moved these departments to the highest alert level after several days of high birch pollen counts. 

Affected departments include much of Normandy and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and all of Hauts de France, Ile-de-France, Grand Est, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Centre Val de Loire and parts of Nouvelle Aquitaine. 

A situation exacerbated by good weather 

The pollen count began to rise at the end of last week with the return of sunny weather to much of France. 

The RNSA has stated on Twitter that: “The return of the good weather [...] boosts the dispersal of pollen [particles], especially those belonging to birch trees.”

Plane tree, pine and ash pollen levels are not expected to rise as high as that of birch trees, and remain at a ‘moderate’ intensity.

Grass pollen is currently at a ‘low’ level but is expected to rise gradually between now and the beginning of May.

What should I do to avoid the effects? 

If you have a pollen allergy, it is recommended that you air out the rooms of your house for 10 minutes, preferably early in the morning or late at night, and that you rinse your hair in the evening. 

You are also advised to avoid activities which would involve unnecessary increased exposure to the pollen, such as outdoor sports or gardening. 

Using products such as tobacco, scented candles, room sprays and cleaning solutions can also aggravate symptoms, so reducing your use of these substances can help. 

People with allergies are also encouraged not to dry their laundry outside.

If you go out driving, it is best to keep the windows closed.

Related articles 

Allergy alert: Birch pollen to arrive in northern France

Warning in France over poisonous plants in shops and in the wild

Gardening in France: Dahlias stir poetry and emotion

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