SHARE
COPY LINK

EIFFEL TOWER

Eiffel Tower cloaked in smog as pollution spikes

The Eiffel Tower disappeared behind a brown smog on Wednesday as Paris and much of northern France suffered a spike in pollution.

Eiffel Tower cloaked in smog as pollution spikes
The Eiffel tower through the smog. Photo: AFP
It hasn't been a good day for tourists looking for an iconic photo from the world's most popular selfie spot
 
"The pollution levels are consistent. If we don't go over the alert level, we won't be far away," said Airparif, the body responsible for monitoring air quality in the greater Paris region.
   
In Paris, authorities measure the concentration of particulates with a diameter of less than 10 microns – so-called PM10 – in the air to determine pollution levels.
   
These particulates are created by vehicles, heating and heavy industry, and include the most dangerous particles that measure less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which can penetrate deep into the lungs and the blood system and can cause cancer.
   
The safe limit for PM10 is set at 80 microgrammes per cubic metre (mcg/m3).
   
Since Wednesday morning, authorities have put in place certain emergency measures, such as limiting cars to 20 kilometres per hour on motorways in the Paris area.
   
Authorities have the power to put into place emergency measures such as allowing only one in two cars to enter the French capital and making public transport free.
   
This was last implemented on March 17th last year during a particularly bad spike in the pollution levels.
   
According to a 2011 World Health Organisation report, the planet's most polluted city was Ahvaz in Iran with an average of 372 mcg/m3.
   
Beijing had an average of 121 mcg/m3, while Paris was measured at 38 mcg/m3.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

TOURISM

Eiffel Tower reopens from its longest closure since World War II

The Eiffel Tower reopened to visitors on Friday for the first time in nine months following its longest closure since World War II.

Eiffel Tower reopens from its longest closure since World War II
The Eiffel Tower reopens on Friday. Photo: Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP

The lifts of the Dame de fer (Iron Lady) are set to whir back into life, transporting tourists to its 300-metre summit, ending a long period of inactivity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Daily capacity is restricted to 13,000 people, however, about half of the normal level, in order to respect social distancing.

And from Wednesday next week, visitors will need to show either proof of vaccination or a negative test, in line with recent government-imposed requirements on the pass sanitaire (health passport).

READ ALSO How France’s expanded health passport will work this summer

“Obviously it’s an additional operational complication, but it’s manageable,” the head of the operating company, Jean-François Martins, told AFP.

After a final round of safety checks by staff, he announced that the “lady is ready”.

Early reservations for tickets during the summer holiday period underline how the tourism industry in Paris has changed due to travel restrictions.

Martins said there was an “almost total absence” of British ticket holders, while only 15 percent were Americans and very few are from Asia.

READ ALSO Eiffel Tower: 13 things you didn’t know about Paris’ ‘iron lady’

Half of visitors are expected to be French, while Italians and Spanish make up a higher proportion than usual.

The long closure has caused havoc with the finances of the operating company, Sete, which runs the monument on behalf of Paris city authorities.

It is set to seek additional government aid and a fresh €60-million cash injection to stay afloat, having seen its revenues fall by 75 percent to €25 million in 2020.

The masterpiece by architect Gustave Eiffel has also been hit by problems linked to its latest paint job, the 20th time it has been repainted since its construction in 1889.

Work was halted in February because of high levels of lead detected on the site, which poses a health risk to workers.

Tests are still underway and painting is set to resume only in the autumn, meaning a part of the facade is obscured by scaffolding and safety nets.

SHOW COMMENTS