A thick fog envelope Paris this Friday, 30 December. While the capital city and its region are experiencing a new peak of pollution, the prefecture of police has opted for the lowering of speed limits and free parking spaces in Paris, without, however, trigger the alternating circulation, the situation is less critical than in previous peaks of pollution to the beginning of the month of December. Nevertheless, this series of peaks can have consequences on the health of the most fragile. Here’s why.
It is composed of “particles at the end of combustion”
“The wave that touches Paris is the result of road traffic emissions and wood burning,” says Charlotte Dreamer, an engineer at Airparif. Small “dust”, which settle in the air and are inhaled by thousands of ile-de-france.
“It is the most toxic of which is”, ” says Thomas Bourdrel to franceinfo. The radiologist and member of the group, Strasbourg exudes is categorical : “It inhales the particles at the end of combustion, which are the most harmful.” For the doctor, the peaks of pollution and of mars are, for example, rather related to the land application farm. “It is necessary to adapt the measures to the features : to Bastia, the last episode was linked to the desert dust [from the Maghreb]. However, the alternating circulation has been put in place so that the vehicles were not in question.”
The toxic elements that are found in the air in paris during the peaks of the beginning of the month and by the end of this week are many : fine particles, nitrogen oxide or oxide of sulfur. And all have a detrimental effect on the health.
These fine particles have effects similar to cigarette smoking”
The fine particles are particularly harmful. In this season, they are issued mainly by the exhaust of cars and by the fires of the fireplace. “There are several sizes, ” says the pulmonologist, Thierry Chinet. in The larger, known as PM 10, are within the nose when the smaller, called PM 2.5, are attached to the bottom of the respiratory tract.”
The health impacts are many : from inflammation to the risk of deterioration to chronic diseases. According to Thomas Bourdrel, these particles carry the benzopyrene, a substance extremely harmful. “It is classified as a carcinogen class 1 : there is no worse for the lung.” We also find this compound in cigarettes.
The doctor explained that many other organs are affected, in addition to the lung. “recent studies have demonstrated that the heart was particularly sensitive to pollution episodes, which promote heart attack and STROKE.” But this is not all : the fine particles also affect the brain and cross the placenta. “The birth weight of the fetus is lower than in the polluted cities,” explains Thomas Bourdrel. “The fine particles have the same effect as cigarette smoking“, he concludes.
nitrogen oxides are also part of the cocktail
Your eyes will sting and your throat you scratch ? You can thank the oxides of nitrogen (NOx). These gases, emitted for one-half (56%) in the Ile-de-France by road traffic, according to Airparif (2012 figures), are among the most harmful to human health. In sensitive individuals such as children or the elderly, they can lead to breathing problems or even an increased sensitivity of the bronchi to infections.
“there are many other substances than just these pollutants,” explains Thierry Chinet. During the peaks, there is also a jumble of sulphur dioxide from industries, and carbon monoxide. Assimilated in small doses, they have effects similar to other on the airways and on the skin. “frail people, such as children or the elderly, can go to see their doctor in order to strengthen their treatment,” advises Thomas Bourdrel.
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