Red alert for severe grass pollen allergies

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A high grass pollen risk can cause "hay fever" symptoms including sneezing and irritated eyes - photo The Connexion

Most of the southwest of France is on red alert for grass pollen allergies, with 26 departments throughout France on the highest alert.

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 of 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.

Source: The Connexion