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|1||Strasbourg, Grand Est|
|2||Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur|
|5||Nice, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur|
|9||Mulhouse, Grand Est|
|10||Clermont Ferrand, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 27 US AQI||O3|
PM2.5 concentration in Toulouse is currently 1.2 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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|Saturday, Sep 30|
Good 29 AQI US
|Sunday, Oct 1|
Good 26 AQI US
|Monday, Oct 2|
Good 45 AQI US
Good 27 AQI US
|Wednesday, Oct 4|
Good 23 AQI US
|Thursday, Oct 5|
Good 25 AQI US
|Friday, Oct 6|
Good 23 AQI US
|Saturday, Oct 7|
Good 16 AQI US
|Sunday, Oct 8|
Good 45 AQI US
|Monday, Oct 9|
Moderate 77 AQI US
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The quality of air in Toulouse ranks very well in regards to the lack of pollutants and PM2.5 in the air. PM2.5 refers to particulate matter of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter (in excess of 100 times thinner than that of human hair). It has come in with consistently good yearly averages since 2017 and only seems to be improving. In 2019 it came in with an average PM2.5 reading of 9.2µg/m³, putting it into the World Health Organizations (WHO) target goal for air cleanliness, which is anywhere between a reading of 0 to 10 µg/m³. To make it into this bracket is a very respectable achievement, however there are months where the pollution levels do rise, two months in particular (February and December 2019) climbing up two rankings into the ‘moderate’ level of pollution groups, which requires a reading of 12.1 to 35.4 µg/m³ to be classed as such. Whilst the moderate reading came in at the absolute lowest end of that grouping, edging out a better ranking by just 0.1 and 0.2 µg/m³ respectively, it stands to reason that a city with such good levels of air quality may be suffering from jumps in the amount of smoke and pollution released into the air, showing that there may be certain pollutive issues affecting the city of Toulouse. Despite these occasional anomalies and heightened readings of PM2.5 found in the atmosphere, overall the quality of air in Toulouse is very good, free from the smog and haze which affect so many cities around the world.
It is apparent that the main causes of pollution in Toulouse and many of its surrounding cities comes from Vehicle emission, with these cities lacking the mad explosion of industrial growth that is happening in other parts of the world such as Asia, and as such they see their pollution levels primarily coming from cars, and occasionally the burning of crops and other dead organic matter, although this is of significantly less concern in more recent times due to a heavy crackdown on such practices.
In an annual report taken by Greenpeace and UNICEF France over 2019, Toulouse was placed poorly in regards to its efforts to tackle car and traffic related pollution, showing that roadside related pollutants are of great importance to the city in regards to having appropriate action taken against it. When examining the components of road related pollution, the main offending chemicals are often Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) as well as Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), with NO2 being of chief concern due to its direct correlation with vehicular emission, and as such it is a good indicator of how much pollution is being primarily caused by cars. Other chemicals or compounds that make up the majority of exhaust fumes from vehicles are Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Ozone (O3). This puts the exhaust fumes from cars and trucks as the main causes of pollution in Toulouse.
According to the date recorded over 2019, the months that came in with the highest rating of PM2.5 and other pollutants were, in order of most to least polluted, December, February, January and November. December came in with a PM2.5 reading of 12.3 µg/m³, followed by February with a reading of 12.2 µg/m³. These are both placed into the ‘moderate’ rating bracket, meaning that the air quality may be of a higher risk to vulnerable demographics, particularly young children. The other two months that came in a ranking above the WHO’s target goal were January and November, with readings of 11.3 and 10.7 µg/m³. These are classed as being within the ‘good’ rating, which requires a reading of 10 to 12 µg/m³ to be classed as such, a rating with a very fine margin to achieve. Whilst January and November are ranked above the rest of the year due to their pollution levels, they are still respectable readings and do not require a huge amount of concern on their levels of PM2.5, although it will stand to reason that these higher readings can be scrutinized so that their causes, most likely the aforementioned road and vehicle pollution, can be singled out and appropriate action taken to reduce the pollutant levels down enough so that they find themselves sitting in the WHO’s target bracket.
It has been approximated that road traffic alone accounts for around 67 percent of all Nitrogen Oxide (NO) emissions, and with the 2020 being the year that endured the large-scale lockdown of many activities due to COVID-19, huge drops in the concentration of pollutants were recorded, as one would expect with such a drastic cessation of all human and therefore vehicular activities. However, as activity increased following the more stringent lockdown periods, the percentage of pollutants found in the air rapidly increased again, and whilst they did not exceed that of pre lockdown numbers, the increase provides evidence that the reduction in activity of cars and trucks is a key factor in improving the overall quality of air.
So, to assist in further improving the AQI readings and keep smoke emissions low, Initiatives are being taken such as the setting up of low emission zones (ZFE, or ‘zone à faible émission’ in French) similar to the congestion charge policy in the city of London, whereby the number of vehicles are kept low through the use of fines or charges for those who enter into specific areas during certain times. Further initiatives include combatting the use of diesel fuels, and policies to reduce people’s reliance on cars, and instead focus on using alternative methods such as cycling, walking or taking public transport.
Toulouse comes in at position number 73 out of all the cities in France, out of the 131 cities registered on the IQAir website. As well as this it ranks in at number 2907 in terms of the most polluted cities worldwide in 2019. When compared to Paris, the capital city, Toulouse comes in a whole two groups lower, being classed in the WHO’s target goal for particulate matter in the air, whilst Paris finds itself in the ‘moderate’ grouping. As such, it has a respectable rating, especially for a landlocked city, but it could stand to improve its numbers, which as they currently show, have been steadily improving over the last two years, with improved readings of PM2.5 recorded from 2017 to 2019.