Air pollution in Paris was worse than in any major city in the world for a short period of time this week, when the French capital was above highly pouted cities such as Delhi and Beijing, announced pollution-monitoring app Plume Labs.
According to Plume Labs, which analyzes data from 60 cities worldwide, Paris hit 125 on the pollution index on Wednesday. An index number above 100 is considered harmful, while anything above 150 is considered critical.
Paris and much of north-western France was covered in a thick smog, but it has since dissipated slightly. Paris City Hall announced that on Saturday, public transport will be free in Paris and its massive suburbs, so that pollution from cars will be reduced. Also, parking in the city was free for that day.
French experts believe that drastic reduction in the number of cars on the roads will make the problem disappear. Also, authorities are hoping for a few days of rain, as the water can wash the fine particles out of the air, but the forecast is not favorable.
But the pollution is still in the air. In the short term, nothing short of a few days of rain (which would wash many of the fine particles out of the air though no rain is forecast) or a drastic reduction in the number of cars on the roads will make the problem disappear.
In the long term, Paris wants to progressively ban the most polluting cars and trucks from its streets. In the same time, the city is upgrading the public transport system to be more environment friendly.
Despite of the fact that it topped the pollution rankings, experts say that Paris is not one of the most polluted cities in the world. Karine Leger, assistant director of Airparif in Paris, an organization that monitors air quality believes that the city is not the only one having such issues.
“Air quality in the French capital is better than ten years ago. It’s the wrong idea to compare a city at a certain moment when you have meteorological conditions that could make the pollution worse at that point,” she said.
The weather conditions influenced the results, mostly because March has been a dry month. As the air is warmer, the dangerous fine particles which have filled the air become more dangerous.
Image Source: Slate