In Paris, air purifiers installed in metro and RER stations

As part of the regional plan “Innovate for the air of our stations”, the RER C has been welcoming devices since Monday to help fight against the worrying level of fine particles in the air. A second station will be equipped on Friday.

In order to reduce in the streets of Paris, the Ile-de-France residents are invited to abandon the car in favor of public transport. But what to do when the metro and RER platforms are also invaded by this pollution? The authorities care indeed The braking system of trains, which causes a massive concentration of fine particles in the air, is directly responsible for this. “The paradox is that we are told “it is very polluted on the surface, take the metro”, but we risk finding pollution in the metro”, lamented the president of the Île-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse, in March 2018.

The Avenue-Foch station, served by the RER C, has therefore been hosting an experiment since Monday aimed at improving the quality of the air breathed by users. Six machines designed by Air Liquide have been installed on the platforms, with the function of filtering the air using the “positive ionization” process. After sucking in the polluted air via a ventilation system, the machine retains the bad particles and only releases “clean” air. Three sensors installed next to the machines by Air Liquide, the SNCF and the association for monitoring air quality in Ile-de-France (Airparif) will measure the effectiveness of the system. Next Friday, the Alexandre-Dumas station, present on metro line 2, will be the subject of a similar experiment, this time carried out by the Suez company.

“Let’s innovate for the air in our stations”

These initiatives are more broadly part of the “Innovate for the air in our stations” project launched in March 2018 by the Ile-de-France region. Valérie Pécresse had announced “to be able to clean up the air in stations, metro stations, so that RATP agents but also travelers can travel in good conditions”. The stakes are high. Nearly 1.5 million travelers from the Ile-de-France region, or 12% of the regional population, are exposed to considerable levels of pollution every day. In the Aubert, Franklin Roosevelt and Châtelet stations, “50% of the concentrations of PM10” (particles in suspension whose diameter is less than 10 micrometers) are more than ten times higher than the thresholds recommended by the WHO, according to the Plan data for air in Île-de-France.

For its part, the National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES) indicated in 2015 that “the massive concentrations” of particles in suspension in the air within underground stations were ” significantly higher than those measured in the outside air, even near road traffic”. In April 2018, the RATP set up a monitoring system allowing users to consult data relating to the air quality of certain Parisian stations.

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