The year 2017 was a year rich in pollen

The allergic to pollen probably realized it. The year 2017 was rich in production of pollen of grasses, according to a report written by three associations . On the occasion of the French Allergy Day, which takes place on March 20, 2018, the Federation of Air Quality Monitoring Associations ( Atmo France ), the National Network for Surveillance aerobiological ( RNSA ) and the Association of sentinel pollinariums of France drew up their first annual report. They monitored the main allergenic pollen from trees (cypress, birch, ash …) and herbaceous plants (ragweed and grasses). The situation of each can vary, but in a general way, "their quantities grow, whatever the regions", affirms Dr Beatrice Benabes, allergist and referent of Atmo France on the pollens. She also noted "a tendency to precocity": pollen are emitted earlier and earlier.

Less birch pollen, more grass pollen

The "pollen quantities of the year 2017 are generally lower than the previous year for cypress, birch and ambrosia, but superior for grasses "summarizes the document. The main areas of infestation, such as the Rhone Valley, have seen their quantities stabilize in recent years, despite a significant peak in 2006. However, pollen is constantly increasing in neighboring regions.

Birch produces a highly allergenic pollen. Its production usually peaks in March-April. © AFP / Archives / Philippe Huguen

In 2017, the mild temperatures made the trees blossom early, with the first pollens of birch at the end of March in Île de France or in Bourgogne Franche-Comté. Ambrosia pollen was found in the wild more than a week ahead of annual averages. On the contrary, the concentration in the air of grass pollens has grown rather late – in May – but gradually until July-August.

Associations measured the amount of pollen in each region through two devices: sentinel pollinariums and pollen sensors. The first, as their name indicates, are allergy pollen plants closely monitored by scientists. They record the date of beginning and end of the pollination to inform possible alerts allergy . Pollen sensors are positioned on the roofs of buildings. They function as vacuum cleaners and allow to know the particles present in the ambient air.

Allergy Alert

Pollen allergy can cause more or serious symptoms, sneezing crisis at asthma attacks . © GARO / Phanie / AFP

The disease can manifest in several ways depending on the degree of sensitivity, the level of exposure and the affected organs: sneezing, scratching, sometimes clogging or running, eyes red, itchy or watery, possibly in association with wheezing, coughing, eczema flare, contact urticaria, general fatigue and difficulty concentrating

Grass pollen are the ones that cause the most allergies in France. In order to reduce the presence of allergenic pollen in the air, these associations recommend, for example, to diversify ornamental plants. This will avoid ending up with specimens of one species that all pollinate at the same time. Another tip a little more radical: the size of plants, especially bud stage. The authors further specify that "information on the allergenic nature of pollen will soon be available to the consumer before the purchase of the ornamental plants concerned."

"It is necessary that the monitoring of pollen intensifies, and the observation goes to the forecast alert Dr. Benabes. Because being able to start treatment in advance means "fewer emergency consultations, hospitalizations for asthma, consequent treatments and lower cost for the community " For people with allergies, there is a participative network of networking with volunteer botanists: Pollin'air .

Tax reform: how Donald Trump became more than ever president of the rich

Oops! Even for a Republican, it was too much. Or rather, too little. The tweet was quickly erased. What was he saying? "The secretary at a public school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, said she was pleasantly surprised to see her pay increase by $ 1.50 a week, and said it would do more than pay her yearly membership in Costco [géant américain de la grande distribution]. "Thank you Donald Trump what generosity! The author of these dead lines, Paul Ryan, is Speaker of the House of Representatives – the equivalent of the President of the National Assembly in France – and yet a group leader of the mega-tax reform voted in December in United States .

A jackpot for the 0.1% …

The question remains: who will benefit from this tax reform to 1.500 billion dollars over ten years? We already know that the most fortunate individuals, the famous 0.1%, rack up the jackpot, between the decline of the tax on income, that on inheritance and other generous gifts. But what about lambda employees? According to the White House, tax cuts will mean an average salary increase of $ 4,000 a year. It is too early to check, but not too much to celebrate the bonuses that are already starting to distribute the bosses. "Since we voted tax cuts, about 3 million employees have received bonuses related to these decreases.For many, this represents thousands and thousands of dollars per employee," boasted Donald Trump during his State of the Union speech, January 30.

This $ 3 million figure comes from the think tank Americans for Tax Reform, one of the main supporters of the reform. And it is true that many large companies have started to distribute bonuses: Apple Walmart, AT & T, American Airlines, Home Depot … But they are still in the minority: an analysis of the think tank Americans for Tax Fairness shows at the end of January, only 46 of the 500 largest US companies had announced a plan to share the windfall with their employees. When asked by Reuters-Ipsos in mid-January, 2% of US adults said they had received a bonus, an increase or benefits related to tax reform. And a survey of 241 companies, conducted in December by the Aon Hewitt firm, indicates that 83% do not consider salary increases as a result of the reform. For companies that distribute bonuses, the amount most often announced is a bonus of $ 1,000, round and consistent figure. The details are sometimes less attractive. For example, bonuses distributed by Walmart or DIY giants Home Depot and Lowe's are subject to seniority in the company: Home Depot requires 20 years of seniority to earn $ 1,000; median seniority is three years in the distribution sector

Another bad surprise, some large companies took advantage of the announcement of the good news to slip another: layoffs. Hours after the CEO of AT & T announced a $ 1,000 bonus and congratulated Donald Trump and the Republicans on this "milestone", the phone giant sent letters of dismissal to some 600 employees in Illinois and the United States. Midwest. Same timing at Walmart, announcing bonuses and increases and then, a few hours later, the closure of 63 warehouse clubs of its subsidiary Sam's Club

Moreover, some ad effects are misleading. Companies credit the tax reform with the measures they had already decided. In mid-January, Apple announced its desire "to accelerate" its investment in the United States, creating 20,000 jobs and contributing $ 350 billion to the US economy over five years; in fact, the company already had these projects before the vote of the reform.

… crumbs for employees

In total, an estimate made by the national daily USA Today indicates that more than 1.3 million Employees will receive bonuses and increases as a result of the reform, amounting to $ 1.7 billion. An insignificant amount compared to the profits that large companies will derive from this reform: according to a study by Credit Suisse, they will pay this year 75 to 100 billion dollars less tax and will see their profitability a jump of 8% ! How to explain such a gap between the profit windfall and the crumbs distributed to employees? Simple: The overwhelming majority of these profits will go to shareholders. More than $ 125 billion of share buybacks have already been announced since the Senate passed the bill. A single example but they are all alike: the third bank in the country, Bank of America, will distribute $ 145 million in premiums in 2018. Or 5% of $ 2.7 billion that will bring him the tax reform.

The new men

One year ago, no one would have imagined a love story between Donald Trump and brothers David and Charles Koch, 8th world fortune. But the vote on tax reform has changed everything: thanks to it, these two billionaires could save annually $ 1 to $ 1.4 billion in taxes, a figure that does not take into account other potential savings on their profits. offshore and … their inheritance rights. As a result, the Koch networks plan to inject 300 to 400 million in the 2018 election campaign. And they are not the only billionaires to benefit from this reform. Steve Wynn (casinos), energy giants like ExxonMobil, and Wall Street, such as the Blackstone hedge fund, are on the line to win the jackpot. Even those who are not overtly Republicans: for Apple, Donald Trump's tax giveaway amounts to tens of billions of dollars.

Oops! Even for a Republican, it was too much. Or rather, too little. The tweet was quickly erased. What was he saying? "The secretary of a public school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, said she was pleasantly surprised to see her pay increase by $ 1.50 a week. She says it will do more than pay her yearly membership to Costco [géant américain de la grande distribution]. Thank you Donald Trump, what generosity! The author of these dead lines, Paul Ryan, is Speaker of the House of Representatives – the equivalent of the President of the National Assembly in France – and yet a group leader of the mega-tax reform voted in December in the United States.

A jackpot for the 0.1% …

The question remains: who will benefit from this tax reform to $ 1.5 trillion over ten years? We already know that the most fortunate individuals, the famous 0.1%, rack up the jackpot, between the decline in income tax, that on inheritance and other generous gifts. But what about lambda employees? According to the White House, tax cuts will mean an average salary increase of $ 4,000 a year. It is too early to check, but not too much to celebrate the bonuses that are already starting to distribute the bosses. "Since we voted tax cuts, about 3 million employees have received bonuses related to these decreases. For many, this represents thousands and thousands of dollars per employee, "boasted Donald Trump during his State of the Union address on January 30.