France on red alert for severe grass pollen allergies

A red alert for grass pollen allergies has been issued in 26 departments across France, with the risk especially high from the south east to the south west.

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The warning was issued by air monitoring network, le Réseau National de Surveillance Aérobiologique (RNSA), on Friday June 14. The update also covers 65 further departments on orange alert.

“Red” alert is the most severe possible, and “orange” is the second-most severe - on the six-point scale - meaning that the risk of allergies from grass pollen is high to extremely high.

Just five departments - Sarthe, Finistère, Orne, Mayenne and the Alpes-Maritimes - are on yellow alert, meaning average risk.

Pollen allergies can cause symptoms often known as “hay fever”, including repeated sneezing, irritated or weeping eyes, throat irritation, and coughing.

The RNSA advises sufferers to:

  • Avoid taking part in too many activities outdoors
  • Drive with the windows closed
  • Air out the house in the morning and evening, after sunset
  • Rinse your hair in water in the evening
  • Avoid hanging out clothes to dry outside
  • Avoid using products that could further irritate your system, such as tobacco, perfume, incense, candles, cleaning chemicals, or DIY equipment.

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