Dijon: ragweed placed under close surveillance with pollen sensors

The enemy of pollen allergies is placed under close surveillance in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. The structure in charge of air monitoring in the region, the ATMO Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, has installed eight sensors of ragweed pollens throughout the territory , including one in Dijon (Côte-d’Or), above the faculty of medicine.

Thanks to a one-week clockwork mechanism, pollens accumulate on the sensor. The latter works thanks to “a pump connected to a box with a slot which sucks up pollen. A weather vane allows you to specify the direction, ”explains Elise Darlay, at the ATMO Bourgogne Franche-Comté.

Samples have been taken every week since August 3. According to a first bulletin published on 13 August on the association’s website, the allergo-pollen risk was then “average” in Dijon (level 3, on a scale ranging from 0 to 5).

Ambrosia referents The aim of this study is to know the locations and density of ragweed throughout the department over several years, in order to prevent the dispersion of its pollen. “Ambrosia is on the rise in our region. The department of Côte-d’Or is itself little affected by its establishment, and this is the whole point of acting to prevent its invasion ”, underlines Valérie Vernaton-Perrin, engineer of health studies at the Regional Health Agency (ARS).

In Côte-d’Or, the number of reports sent by local elected officials or territorial agents acting as “ambrosia referents” on their territory “Has however increased by 10% compared to the previous year, which shows that ragweed is flourishing,” he says.

Rhinitis, conjunctivitis, tracheitis, asthma attacks According to an expert report published by the French Agency for food, environmental and occupational health safety (ANSES) in 2014, ragweed pollens are among the most problematic. Rhinitis, conjunctivitis, tracheitis, asthma attacks are the most common symptoms and can appear several years after exposure. It only takes five pollen grains per cubic meter of air to trigger them.

The propagation of ragweed is favored by certain human activities such as the transport of soil or seeds, l animal feed and agricultural machinery. It grows mainly near water edges, roads and in certain agricultural crops such as corn. In the region, the areas most affected by ragweed are the Jura and the north of Nevers, in the Nièvre.

Awareness campaigns are also organized with health professionals , people with allergies and potentially allergies. To fight against ragweed, other actions are carried out, such as the management of contaminated soil and the cleaning of machines in the construction sector.