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| 37 US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Mulhouse is currently 1.8 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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|Sunday, Feb 18
Good 37 AQI US
|Monday, Feb 19
Good 21 AQI US
|Tuesday, Feb 20
Good 23 AQI US
Good 37 AQI US
|Thursday, Feb 22
Good 11 AQI US
|Friday, Feb 23
Good 10 AQI US
|Saturday, Feb 24
Good 12 AQI US
|Sunday, Feb 25
Good 12 AQI US
|Monday, Feb 26
Good 9 AQI US
|Tuesday, Feb 27
Good 16 AQI US
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Mulhouse is a subprefecture of the Haut-Rhin department, in the Grand Est region, Eastern France, close to the borders with Germany and Switzerland. A survey was last conducted in 2018 to determine the population. It was seen that the population of the commune itself was 109,000 whilst the entire urban unit was home to approximately 247,000 residents.
At the beginning of 2022, Mulhouse was experiencing a period of “Moderate” air quality with a US AQI reading of 78. This United States Air Quality Index number is calculated using the levels of six of the most prolific air pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and both sizes of particulate matter, which are PM2.5 and PM10. It can then be used as the metric when comparing air quality in other cities around the world. If data is unavailable for all 6 pollutants, a figure can still be calculated by using what figures there are. For Mulhouse, there were four pollutants that were recorded. These were; PM2.5 - 25.2 µg/m³, PM10 - 29.3 µg/m³, ozone (O3) - 30.3 µg/m³ and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 14.2 µg/m³. These figures are quoted in micrograms/microns per cubic metre.
This level of PM2.5 is just over two and a half times the recommended safe level of 10 µg/m³ as suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as being an acceptable level. Although no amount of air pollution is considered to be safe.
When air pollution is from this “Moderate” bracket the given advice would be to remain indoors as much as possible, closing doors and windows to prevent the ingress of more polluted air. Those who are more sensitive to poor quality air should avoid venturing outside until it improves. If this is unavoidable, then a good quality face mask should be worn at all times. All types of outdoor exercise should be avoided until the air quality improves. There is a downloadable app from AirVisual.com which is suitable for all operating systems and gives the latest information regarding air quality in real-time. This information will be helpful in your decision as to whether or not to go outside.
For five months of the year, Mulhouse achieved the WHO target figure of being less than 10 µg/m³. These were February, June, July and August and October. The three months of May, September and December saw air quality from the “Good” category with figures between 10.1 and 12.0 µg/m³. The remaining months of January, March, April and November saw air quality from the “Moderate” bracket with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³.
Historically, records for air quality were first held in 2017 when a figure of 14.2 µg/m³ was recorded. A slight improvement was seen the following year with a reading of 13.0 µg/m³. 2019 continued the trend with an annual average of 11.7 µg/m³. A slight deterioration in 2020 with a figure of 12.0 µg/m³. This figure was to be expected because it may have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as many vehicles were no longer in daily use because the offices were closed, in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus. Many factories and non-essential production units were also required to close which removed their emissions from the atmosphere, albeit on a temporary basis. Worldwide, cities reported a much better quality of air due to the general lack of traffic pollution in city centres due to the pandemic.
In France, air pollution is the third leading cause of death (48,000 deaths/year), just after alcohol (49,000) and tobacco (75,000).
The latest measurement campaigns carried out show that the poor combustion of wood in old and/or inefficient heating appliances is the main source of fine particle emissions. Next come the road transport and industrial sectors.
Fine particles (PM10 and PM2.5) are dust suspended in the atmosphere, resulting from combustion that is not complete. They are partly of natural origin (volcanic eruptions, erosion caused by wind, storms, etc.). And they are also of anthropogenic origin, that is to say linked to human activities (road traffic, industrial and agricultural activities, combustion: chimneys and individual heating) which have considerably increased the concentration of fine particles in the atmosphere, especially at low altitude.
Soléa, the transport authority for the agglomeration of Mulhouse, is setting up a single ticket for the day on its network. Valid for 24 hours, it will cost the modest sum of 2 euros. Access to self-service bicycles will be free. By encouraging the use of public transport, the agglomeration hopes that people will leave their cars in the garage. This was introduced because of the southerly winds blowing dust from the Sahara Desert over the area.
As part of its competence relating to air quality, Mulhouse Alsace Agglomeration manages the "Air quality management" mission on behalf of the 39 municipalities that make it up.
The main objective of the m2A Voluntary Plan aims to contribute, alongside prefectural measures, to reducing "pollution peaks" and limiting pollutant emissions during episodes of pollution by fine particles and ozone to limit the intensity of the concentrations present in the air as much as possible.
The effects of air pollution on health observed following exposure lasting from a few hours to a few days (acute, so-called short-term exposure) are as follows: irritation of the eyes or the respiratory tract, asthma attacks, exacerbation of cardiovascular and respiratory disorders that can lead to hospitalization, and in the most serious cases to death.
In France, long-term exposure to air pollution leads to the greatest impacts on health and the share of health effects attributable to pollution episodes remains low. The preponderant health impact of air pollution is therefore due to exposure throughout the year to average levels of pollution and not to peaks.
In the WHO European zone (53 countries), it is estimated that approximately 600,000 deaths per year are linked to air pollution (482,000 are due to outdoor air pollution and 117,200 to indoor air pollution).