News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

French government support of diesel over reg. gasoline cited for high particulate volume in Paris air-Reuters

3/14/14, "Paris pollution hits life-threatening level," Thomson Reuters

"Air pollution in Paris has hit health-threatening levels over 80 per cent higher than in London and Berlin
as a sunny spell reaches western Europe, prompting the city to curb road speeds and offer free public transport.

Charges were also waived for the city's pioneering cycle and electric car-sharing schemes this week as a visible haze hung over the streets of the French capital.

European Environment Agency (EEA) figures for Thursday showed there was 147 microgrammes of particulate matter (PM) per cubic metre of air in Paris compared with 114 in Brussels, 104 in Amsterdam, 81 in Berlin and 79.7 in London.

Background pollution-the outdoor air quality experienced by the average citizen-topped the 100 maximum measurable index level in Paris on Thursday, data from pollution watchdog airqualitynow.eu showed, making the French capital the only European capital in the "very high" level zone. The index stood at 81 in London, 76 in Berlin and 61 in Madrid....

Fiscal support for diesel over gasoline in motor vehicles and heavy private vehicle traffic have been cited as causes.


The near-absence of wind and temperatures about 10 degrees Celsius above seasonal averages were also a factor this time, according to Meteo France data....

"While the current levels in Europe do pose a significant risk to health, peak levels can be up to 4-5 times higher in Asian cities like Beijing," an EEA spokesman told Reuters....

Speed limits were also reduced by 20 kilometres an hour and authorities in the Ile-de-France region around Paris took all but the most essential public vehicles off the roads.

Warnings from authorities to avoid physical exertions did not deter Parisians from enjoying the warm weather, however.

 
"My lungs are already polluted by cigarettes, so I don't really care," Sophie Boisseau, 29, told Reuters at the terrace of the Biscornu cafe near the stock exchange in central Paris." image ap





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