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|3||Nantes, Pays de la Loire|
|5||Saint-Nazaire, Pays de la Loire|
|7||Angers, Pays de la Loire|
|8||Clermont Ferrand, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes|
|10||Reims, Grand Est|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
|1||Paris 1er Les Halles|
|2||Bld peripherique Est|
|4||Place de l'Opéra|
|5||Rue de Fleurus 2|
|6||Av Champs Elysees|
|7||Tour Eiffel 3ème étage|
|8||Paris Stade Lenglen|
|10||DUUU Radio / Folie N4 (Observatoire)|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
10:42, Sep 23
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 42 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Paris is currently 2 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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|Thursday, Sep 21|
Good 23 AQI US
|Friday, Sep 22|
Good 21 AQI US
|Saturday, Sep 23|
Good 24 AQI US
|Saturday, Sep 23|
Good 32 AQI US
Good 42 AQI US
|Monday, Sep 25|
Good 29 AQI US
|Tuesday, Sep 26|
Good 29 AQI US
|Wednesday, Sep 27|
Good 13 AQI US
|Thursday, Sep 28|
Good 11 AQI US
|Friday, Sep 29|
Good 18 AQI US
|Saturday, Sep 30|
Moderate 59 AQI US
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Paris, the capital of France, finds itself ranked 2nd in place according to the data gathered over 2019 on the IQAir website out of the most polluted cities in France. This 2nd place ranking comes with a PM2.5 reading of 14.7 µg/m³, classifying it as being moderately polluted, although it is at the lower end of the spectrum in regards to its moderate rating. To be classed as such requires a PM2.5 (fine particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or less in size) rating of anywhere between 12.1 to 35.4 µg/m³. so, as it can be observed, Paris was only 2.7 µg/m³ away from achieving a ‘good’ ranking, which requires a reading of 0 to 12 µg/m³.
As such, whilst Paris finds itself in the moderately polluted bracket, the numbers show a far more respectable average than other cities around the world with the same rating. To give a comparison, the city of Chiang Mai in Thailand also came in with a ‘moderate’ rating, however its 2019 average of PM2.5 found in the air was recorded at 32.3 µg/m³, a number that is more than double that of Paris. It is of importance to note that whilst they share the same set of ratings, the city of Chiang Mai is far more polluted and by comparison, one could say that Paris is much freer of pollution than its rating warrants. It was ranked at number 1274 in terms of the most polluted cities in 2019, with marginal improvements over the readings taken in 2018 and 2017.
The main causes of air pollution in Paris are, according to Airparif, a network that monitors the quality of the air in the city, transportation, as well as the large variety of industries and the heating of homes and businesses throughout the year. Pollution from cars and trucks seems to be the number one offender, with vehicle exhaust containing many dangerous chemicals that permeate the smoke found in the city, the main ones being Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) as well as Ozone (O3) and a number of other chemicals, including lead and Carbon Monoxide (CO).
As a collective, transportation, industry and heating make up over 95 percent of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) output, which in turn contribute to the higher levels of PM2.5 in the air as well as a lowered US AQI rating. NO2 also figures largely in the levels of air pollution, being the main component of fumes given off by cars and other vehicles. Heating of homes and businesses figures largely as well, due to the high number of people living in Paris (2.1 million as of the beginning on 2020), with Paris being one of the major cities in the world, therefore naturally making it a perfect home for a large number of big brands and businesses. The heating of these places requires the combustion of materials, including fossil fuels, and as such it would also be another contributor to the pollution levels.
Due to its low rating of PM2.5 over the last few years, there would not be any profound effects of living in the city. However, in 2019 it still came in at a moderate rating for 10 months out of the year. As such it could possibly put certain people at risk on days when the levels of pollution are higher, particularly if there is also a high pollen count in combination with air pollution. Groups of people such as the young and elderly may find themselves predisposed to the development of respiratory infections, as well as irritation to the mouth, nose and eyes. Those with compromised immune systems or preexisting health conditions may find that breathing elevated levels of PM10 or PM2.5 may trigger off respiratory conditions such as asthma attacks or bronchitis, ailments that fall under the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) bracket.
Higher levels of PM2.5, due to their extremely small size, have the ability to penetrate deep into the tissues of the lungs where they can accumulate, causing lung cancer, or spread via circulatory system to other parts of the body, which can cause further health issues such as an increase in the risk of heart attacks or other cardiac events, both short term and chronic (long term). It has been stated that living in Paris is akin to ‘smoking up to 183 cigarettes a year’. However, these statements seem to focus mainly on readings taken in the summer months, when tourism is extremely high. And as such living in Paris does not present such a drastic risk to health, as long as appropriate measures are taken to limit oneself to pollution on days when haze and smog are more prominent, something which can be done with relative ease by checking the Paris air quality map available on the IQAir website, or by using the AirVisual app to gauge whether or not certain days are safe to go out on.
Preventative measures are being taken in the year 2020 in an attempt to prevent air pollution levels to returning to pre COVID-19 numbers, an event of significant importance when observing the data that will be available as an average over 2020, with lower than usual numbers expected, due to movement reduction and halts to mass tourism.
Initiatives such as the installation of more bike lanes, as well as further pushes to get people to reduce the amount that they use their cars and instead use other alternatives such as walking, the previously mentioned use of bikes and public transport. Like any major city, if there is success in the reduction of vehicular congestion, there will be a direct correlation with the fall in levels of pollution and an improvement of PM2.5 readings.
Going off the data recorded in 2019, the months that had the best air quality in regards to the levels of PM2.5 recorded in the air were August and September, with August coming in at a reading of 10.9 µg/m³, a number low enough to class it as being in the ‘good’ bracket of the US AQI scale, which requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 0 to 12 µg/m³, and September being the cleanest month of the whole year with a reading of 9.6 µg/m³, putting September into the World Health Organization’s (WHO) target goal for how clean a city or countries air should be, requiring a reading between 0 to 10 µg/m³.
4 Data sources