Paris says ‘enough’ to air pollution, gives free public transpo Days
Good news for Parisians: public transportation, including Velib’ and Autolib’ rentals, will be free starting Friday morning to Sunday night.
Île-de-France’s Head of Regional Council Jean-Paul Huchon made the announcement on Thursday. The move is seen as a way for Paris to address the dangerous levels of air pollution that has hit news in the past days.
According to studies, the poor air quality was triggered by lack of wind, cold nights and balmy days. Exhaust from automobiles and factory emissions were worsening the problem as they emit particles in the air. Smaller and lighter particles tend to stay suspended longer in the air. The lungs are especially prone to particulate matter (PM) 10 and PM 2.5.
In areas like Brittany, Loire and Burgundy, PM 10 had reached 50 micrograms per cubic metre, the threshold for air quality. Any higher and it would result to health problems like irritation in the nose and throat and other more serious effects that include aggravating respiratory and cardiovascular ailments.
A number of environment groups have already lodged a complaint in Paris, including Ecology without Borders (Écologie sans Frontière), Breath (Respire) and Unity for the Planet (Rassemblement pour la Planète) on the grounds of endangering lives.
Ecology with Borders spokesman Nadir Saifi said ‘We are sick of this air pollution.’