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Global warming behind France's long allergy season

Allergy season is starting earlier and lasting longer in France due to global warming, a specialist has warned.

France on red alert for pollen allergies

A map from France’s national air surveillance network, Réseau National de Surveillance Aérobiologique (RNSA –see pollens.fr) shows nearly all of France is on red alert for pollen allergies. Edouard Seve, vice-president of France’s federation of allergy specialists, says this is expected to continue for some weeks. “We’ll have grass pollens until mid-July, or the end of July,” he said.

More effects of climate change becoming clear in daily life

He added that pollens, such as birch and grass, now arrive earlier and stay for longer due to climate change. He also said that more people in France are suffering with allergies. “Allergies are emerging earlier and earlier. We estimate that, when all allergies are included, they affect nearly one in four people in France.” Different causes for allergies include genetics, exposure to pollution, and lifestyle factors. Hay fever sufferers can download an app that helps prepare for peaks in pollen and air pollution by supplying three-day pollen forecasts.

Météo Pollen, from Weather Force in partnership with the European Meteorological Centre, means allergy sufferers can stock up on remedies or change their routines in advance of forecast spikes in pollen levels and air quality.

Read more: positive environmental news in France

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