|1||Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur|
|2||Saint-Henri, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur|
|3||Marignane, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur|
|4||Toulon, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur|
|5||Hyeres, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur|
|6||Salon-de-Provence, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur|
|8||Biot, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur|
|9||Hayange, Grand Est|
|10||Avignon, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 31 US AQI||PM10|
|PM10|| 33.9 µg/m³|
|O3|| 20.5 µg/m³|
|NO2|| 49.3 µg/m³|
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
Good 31 US AQI
|Tuesday, Sep 28|
Good 15 US AQI
|Wednesday, Sep 29|
Good 27 US AQI
|Thursday, Sep 30|
Good 16 US AQI
|Friday, Oct 1|
Good 19 US AQI
|Saturday, Oct 2|
Good 18 US AQI
|Sunday, Oct 3|
Good 15 US AQI
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Lyon is a small city in the south eastern region of France, not far from the border of Switzerland. It has a population of approximately 516,000 people as of 2017, with an area of some 48 km2. In terms of its air quality rankings, it comes in with a PM2.5 rating of 11.4 µg/m³, putting in the bracket of ‘good’ quality rated air, with the good rating requiring a very fine margin of between 10 to 12 µg/m³ on the PM2.5 scale to achieve. PM2.5 refers to fine particulate matter of 2.5 micrometers of less in diameter, which due to its extremely small size and often toxic compounds forming the majority of it, make it of primary concern for those exposed to it over both long and short periods of time.
However, with the good air quality rating in Lyon, those living there do not need to worry as much as those living in more polluted parts of the world, with the exception of certain months of the year when spikes are detected on the levels of PM2.5 and other contaminants in the air. Three months out of the year come in with a good rating, as well as 6 months coming in with the World Health Organization’s air quality target of 0 to 10 µg/m³, making these months very clean in regards to the air quality. There are a few spikes in pollution recorded over the year of 2019, and as such certain people may want to take appropriate action during these times, preventative measures such as mask wearing and avoiding outdoor activities during peak pollution months can be effective preventative measures. So overall Lyon does indeed have a good quality of air, but with its ranking as 17th most polluted city in France, it could certainly improve its pollution levels, which it has shown to be doing when comparing the averages taken over previous years.
As with many cities across the globe, the main causes of pollution are the transportation industry, factories and other lines of production, as well as the heating of homes and business places, as one would expect in all countries that experience cold spells and winters. With vehicles responsible for the highest output of pollution and smoke into the atmosphere, a reduction in their use always sees direct correlation with improved air quality. Although there are strict rules against certain types of fuels being used, as well as older and defunct engine types being illegal for road use, many cars, bikes and trucks that still run on diesel fuels populate the highways and city roads, pouring out larger amounts of noxious fumes containing chemicals such as Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) as well as hazardous combustion byproducts like black carbon (BC) which makes up the main component of soot.
This soot, along with other fine particulate matter such as metals (lead being the worst culprit) and other industrial byproducts from places like construction sites as well as general dust and fine dirt matter from the ground, can congregate together on the highways and form a phenomenon known as road dust, a cocktail of materials which finds itself propelled into the atmosphere as thousands of vehicles drive over it every day, causing a rise in levels of PM2.5 and PM10.
Looking at the data provided on the IQAir website, it can be observed that the air quality has improved in Lyon over the past few years. In 2017, the yearly average of PM2.5 recorded was 15 µg/m³, a number which nudges it up a level into the ‘moderate’ bracket. Being in this bracket requires a rating of 12.1 to 35.4 µg/m³ to be classified as such, and when a city has a moderate rating, even if it is on the lower end of the spectrum like Lyon was, it certainly stands to reason that there are far more health risks possible for those who are breathing the air in on a daily basis. In 2018 a considerable improvement was noted, with a recorded number of 11.7 µg/m³ being shown. This is where it falls into the good rated bracket where it continues to sit today, with only a very marginal improvement shown with a reduction in PM2.5 of only 0.3 µg/m³ between 2018 to 2019, a meagre number but still an improvement nonetheless.
The city of Lyon has been taking steps to improve its air and lessen pollution, including initiatives such as imposing more speed limits across certain parts of the city and motorways, cracking down on vehicles that do not meet a certain quality control criterion (such as ones with poor quality engines running particularly on diesel fuel) and just generally assisting in changing the mindset of the population in terms of their traditional ways of living, with the burning of firewood and other dead organic material being of concern. Although the burning of firewood can certainly produce a very pleasant and warm indoor environment during the long winter months, the smoke and haze that results as a byproduct of the combustion can really wreak havoc on pollution readings, especially with a dense and growing population.
Other initiatives include ones that ring true the world over, such as the encouragement of people to stop over relying on their own personal vehicles and to take public transport instead, the use of carpooling, and reducing the amount that the general population uses their cars and other personal vehicles by means of stricter fines and charges, as demonstrated by the congestion charge introduced in London, which works by method of charging vehicle users for driving into the inner part of the city past a certain time, with the charge climbing each year. This initiative had a great success in reducing the total number of cars on the road.
Despite having a good yearly average rating, as mentioned previously there were three months out of the year when the levels of PM2.5 rose into the moderate bracket. With even these moderate ratings there may be noticeable effects on the health of those with compromised immune systems or a predisposition to respiratory issues. Both PM2.5 and PM10 particles can cause a large number of health issues, causing lasting effects such as reduced lung function and increased rates of cancer. Using the air quality maps available on the IQAir website can help those at risk stay up to date with real time pollution readings and forecasts, as well as utilizing the AirVisual app to stay updated whilst on the go. Even those without health issues or prior conditions may find it useful to know when the particulate matter in the air is high, and can take appropriate action such as choosing not to exercise outdoors or the wearing of masks. However due to its yearly average of 11.4 µg/m³, it is safe to say that there are not any significant health effects to the general population.