Here is a new study on the effects of air pollution which should encourage the PS mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, to accelerate her plan to exit thermal vehicles, which provides for the ban of all diesels in the streets of the capital by 2024 and essences by 2030. Published on Wednesday, January 20 in the review The Lancet Planetary Health, it places the French capital at 4e rank of European cities where mortality due to exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is the most important. The NO2 is a very toxic gas emitted mainly by road traffic and mainly by diesel engines. The Anglo-Saxons also speak of automobile pollution.
Conducted by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), in collaboration with researchers from the Swiss Institute of Public Health and the University of Utrecht, the study estimates for the first time the impact of air pollution on mortality in cities. Until now, this type of assessment has been at the level of a country or a continent.
The researchers analyzed data from nearly a thousand cities, including the 50 largest for the year 2015. For the Parisian metropolis, they arrive at 2,575 premature deaths per year due to exposure to rates of excessive concentration, or about 7% of total mortality. In this ranking, in relation to the number of inhabitants, Paris is slightly ahead of Madrid (2,380 deaths), Antwerp and Turin. Conversely, the Top 10 cities where the effects of NO2 are the least noticeable consists exclusively of cities in northern Europe, with the top three: Tromso (Norway, no deaths), Umea (Sweden, 13) and Oulu (Finland, 18).
Brescia in the lead for fine particles
According to Airparif’s latest air quality report, in 2019, around 500,000 Ile-de-France residents (4%) and one in ten Parisians were still exposed to levels of NO concentration.2 above the limit values recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), i.e. 40 micrograms per cubic meter as an annual average. Levels that can be twice the standards for those living near the busiest traffic routes, such as the ring road or the A1 motorway.
These overruns, which concern other French metropolises, but in less significant proportions, have now earned France a condemnation before the European Union courts and the government the threat of a heavy fine before the Council of State.
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