A runny nose, weeping eyes, stinging throat... Some people have never developed allergies and suddenly find themselves with a bad hay fever. For others, it's getting worse and worse. It's not just a feeling, there are more and more of us! In 1977 there were about 8% of the population who were allergic to pollen. Nowadays, this percentage is between 25 and 30% depending on the region. Peak pollution, mild weather and allergies are closely linked. WAIR explains how it works.
Initially, a pollen allergy...
The story of bees going from flower to flower to forage for pollination speaks for itself. But how does it work when it's a tree without a fragrant flower to attract insects? In the spring, thousands of highly volatile pollen grains are released into the air over several hundred kilometres in the hope of finding a female flower and then finally land on a piece of land to take root. Depending on the season and the wind, the air is loaded with pollen, which is what makes life difficult for people with allergies.
>To know the "pollen weather" we advise you the site launched by the RNSA (National Network of Aerobiological Monitoring): www.pollens.fr
... aggravated by fine particles
With pollution, we observe two phenomena that aggravate allergies: more intense pollination of trees to defend themselves from polluted air and pollen grains loaded with fine particles, which are therefore more allergenic. Breathing polluted air leads to damage to the mucous membranes (eyes, bronchial tubes or nose) and makes us even more vulnerable to allergies. It is a vicious circle.
Fine particles will enter our bronchial tubes: the finer they are, the deeper they penetrate. The most harmful are those below PM10 (with a diameter of 10 micrometers). They come from traffic, heating and factories. For your information, the WAIR mask filters out fine particles up to PM0.1 and pollens above PM10.
You will find all the details of our filtration here but roughly speaking it works like this:
To make the mask and filter, our team worked hard with air quality experts, and the challenge was to filter as much as possible while still allowing good breathing during an effort.
The government's recommendations
On a daily basis, the government recommends minimizing exposure to pollens to avoid triggering an allergy, as well as avoiding intense physical activity - taking deep breaths is 10 times worse. You are also advised to air out your home in the morning as early as possible and to rinse your hair in the evening to remove pollens.
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