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Allergies, stress: health affected by the climate

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region is “a hot spot for climate change”, recalls the Regional Group of Experts on Climate (Greek) in a report released in December. According to forecasts by these experts, drought and summer heat will increase in duration and intensity, ground and surface water will decrease by 20%, and episodes of intense rain will increase in the years to come.

“Post-traumatic stress”

Experts fear that these recurring disasters will cause “post-traumatic stress” in southern people. This disorder appears in half of the people exposed to natural disasters. The occurrence of severe weather can also activate or reactivate other diseases: anxiety, depressive or addictive disorders.

Another unexpected consequence is the increase in allergies. Because pollens, to which 20% of adults are allergic (almost twice as many as twenty years ago), will also benefit from global warming.

Mite allergies are also likely to gain ground: as temperatures rise, mold will proliferate both inside and outside the home.

A feared excess mortality

Faced with this cloud of threats, the Greek challenges the authorities and offers them adaptation measures, such as the development of “cool islands” in the city, or even the care of vulnerable and precarious people, the first affected by global warming. In the Paca region, 80% of the population lives in cities, where the temperature is higher than in the countryside, and the air more polluted, factors aggravating for health, notes the Greek. Experts fear excess mortality but also an increase in cardiovascular, respiratory diseases and even mental disorders linked to these high temperatures.

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