More than half of France on red pollen alert after recent good weather

The highest alert level relates to birch pollen, but plane tree pollen levels are also moderate and oak and grass pollen are on the rise

An image of birch tree flowers
Birch pollen levels are ‘high’ across the northern half of France
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More than half of France’s departments are under a red alert for ‘high’ birch pollen levels today (April 18).

All of northern, northeastern and central France, as well as parts of northwestern France are subject to the red alert, which is the highest warning level.

The rest of the mainland is experiencing ‘moderate’ pollen levels – either relating to birch or to plane tree pollen – seeing a yellow alert.

Plane tree pollen is fairly prevalent at the moment, especially in southeastern departments, while ash and cypress pollen levels are beginning to fall. Oak and grass pollen are starting to build, especially in the west, but are still only at ‘low’ levels.

The high level has been driven by the fair weather of recent days, which has boosted the dispersal of pollen particles in the air.

What can I do to relieve symptoms?

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. It may also help to rinse out your nose with water.

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.

You can find out more about French pollen levels on the Réseau national de surveillance aérobiologique website.

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