More limited impact of the 2nd confinement on air pollution in IDF

The second confinement has a more limited impact than the first on air pollution linked to road traffic in Ile-de-France, said Airparif on Tuesday, which recalls that poor air quality can increase mortality from Covid- 19.

The air quality monitoring association looked at emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particles PM10 linked to road traffic.

Emissions fell by 20% in Ile-de-France in the 1st week

During the first days of the reconfinement, from Friday October 30 to Thursday November 5, these emissions fell by around 20% in Ile-de-France when they had collapsed by 70% during the first week following entry into force of the first containment in March, according to a statement.

“The drop in emissions linked to road traffic for NOx and particles is slightly more marked in Paris, with a decrease of 30% with the exception of the ring road” where the decrease is of the order of 15%, specifies Airparif .

Excluding the ring road, the reduction in emissions was “75% during the first days of the first confinement”, indicates the air quality monitoring association.

The concentrations of NOx, “a tracer pollutant in road traffic, do not decrease much, unlike the first confinement”, continues Airparif. “The concentrations encountered near the main roads then reached the levels usually observed in parks and gardens. This is not the case for the first days of the second confinement. “

According to an international study published at the end of October, long-term exposure to ambient air pollution could lead to an increased risk of dying from Covid-19, by around 15% on average worldwide, and by 19% in Europe .

Long-term exposure to air pollution would have contributed to 18% of deaths due to Covid-19 in France, according to estimates by Professor Jos Lelievel of the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz (Germany) and of his colleagues.

Moreover, “over the first few days, the impact of the second confinement is also much less important on carbon dioxide emissions (CO2, greenhouse gases) linked to road traffic. The drop is 20% for the second confinement, it was 70% for the first days of the first confinement, ”adds Airparif.

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