New online map reveals exactly where Paris pollution levels are highest

How polluted is Paris? Paris City Hall is to launch an online map on Tuesday to reveal the every day levels of air pollution in the capital. Commuters who use the Metro regularly might think about an alternative form of transport.

New online map reveals exactly where Paris pollution levels are highest
Photo: AFP

This online data has been obtained by 400 vehicles equipped with pollution sensors patrolling the streets of the French capital. It will enable Parisians and visitors to know more precisely the quality of the air they breathe every day where they live or work.

The data will be updated every two hours on a daily basis. It will also display pollution forecasts for the next day at 11am.

The map presents an almost real-time picture of the state of pollution through clear colour codes: green (very low), yellow (medium), red (very high). The data will be updated every hour. 

Users will be able to zoom in on each street and see that pollution levels oscillate from one point to another and turn orange or red as you get closer to major roads and in particular to the peripherique (ring road around Paris).

Le Monde had a preview of the new map which went on Tuesday morning.

Metro hotspots

This interface makes it possible to precisely identify the most polluted areas. Hot spots include the entrances to Metro station, car park exits, the areas around train stations where diesel powered TER trans run from and of course the city's main roads like the Périphérique ring road.

“Three hundred metro entrances release fine particles at exceptionally dangerous levels,”said the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, speaking at the launch.

According to a study unveiled last week by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), polluting emissions of nitrogen oxides from diesel cars in Paris are above the standards set by the European Union.

“In Europe, more than 11,000 people die prematurely each year due to nitrogen dioxide emissions from diesel engines exceeding standards,” according to the ICCT. “In Paris and its metropolitan area, this amounts to 1,100 premature deaths per year.”


Member comments

  1. So let’s add another THREE HUNDRED polluting cars to the streets to get a more accurate reading??? 🙂
    Are they electric?

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Paris faces legal claim over lead pollution from Notre-Dame fire

Paris authorities have been accused of failing to safeguard the health of people living near Notre-Dame cathedral due to lead pollution from a devastating fire two years ago.

Paris faces legal claim over lead pollution from Notre-Dame fire
A complaint has been lodged over lead pollution in Paris from the devastating fire at Notre Dame cathedral Photo: Fabien Barrau | AFP

Local families along with the Paris branch of the CGT trade union and the anti-pollution association Henri Pezerat, have filed the legal complaint alleging city and public health authorities endangered lives.

“Despite the scale of the fire and knowledge about the risk of pollution and contamination… no precaution in particular was taken by the authorities involved for more than three months after the fire,” according to a copy of the complaint seen by AFP.

It says 400 tonnes of lead from the roof of the Gothic masterpiece melted or were dispersed as microparticles over the French capital during the blaze on April 15, 2019.

“Children (in crèches and schools), neighbours and workers have clearly been exposed to the risk of lead” pollution, the complaint adds. “These facts amount to the crime of endangering the lives of others.”

The square in front of the cathedral was closed again to the public in May this year after tests revealed high concentrations of toxic lead particles.

Several months after the fire, city authorities ordered a deep-clean of schools in the area, while children and pregnant women were urged to have blood tests.

The complaint says the city withheld information from school directors and failed to act promptly. It also targets the police department, the culture ministry and regional health authorities.

The efforts of firefighters ensured the great medieval edifice survived the fire despite the collapse of the spire and much of the roof being destroyed.

But the lead risks delayed work on clearing debris and launching the restoration effort for the landmark, which President Emmanuel Macron wants open for visitors in time for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the blaze, but they have said an accident, possibly caused by a short circuit or discarded cigarette butt, remains the most likely explanation.