Heat wave: Traffic restrictions in several regions due to pollution

POLLUTION – Classic side effect of heat episodes, the concentration of ozone in the air is skyrocketing over a large part of France, according to the official Prev’Air bulletin published on Friday June 17, which predicts a continuation of this pollution these next days.

“Under the effect of the heat wave that the metropolis is currently experiencing, ozone concentrations have been increasing sharply for two days”, indicates the Prev’Air platform, managed by Ineris.

Exceeding the information and recommendation threshold for ozone (180 µg/m3 hourly average) is prohibited until Saturday in Île-de-France, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur, Normandy and Occitanie. These thresholds could also be exceeded in the Grand Est, Center Val-de-Loire, Pays de la Loire, Brittany, New Aquitaine, Hauts-de-France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Burgundy -Franche-Comte.

Air quality index rated “poor” in major cities

“After maximum concentrations imposed for this Saturday June 18, the situation should be assessed positively from Sunday June 19, even if local overruns will not be excluded in Île-de-France, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’ Azur or Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes”, specifies the bulletin.

Overall, on Friday, the ATMO air quality index was classified as “bad” in most major cities in France, from Paris to Marseille, via Lille, Brest, Strasbourg, Bordeaux or Nantes.

Ozone is a so-called “secondary” pollutant because it is not directly released by an activity. It results from chemical reactions, under the effect of the sun, involving pollutants present in the air, such as nitrogen oxides, emitted mainly by road traffic, and volatile organic compounds (hydrocarbons, solvents, etc.) rejected by industry.

It is an irritating gas that easily penetrates to the finest respiratory tracts. It is especially a problem in summer, in periods of strong sunshine, if there is no wind to disperse it. It can be transported over long distances.

Some regions have already taken action:


Motorists are called on this Saturday to reduce their speed by 10 km / h throughout the Paris region. These speed limits will continue in Île-de-France until the end of the pollution episode, while heavy goods vehicles will be the prices for curving the region.

The prefect of police also announced the implementation of “differentiated traffic”, in particular prohibiting the circulation of Crit’air 5 vehicles (already prohibited from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday in Paris), Crit’air 4 and Crit’air air 3.

Ile-de-France Mobilités will at the same time offer, still from Saturday and until the end of the pollution episode, an “anti-pollution package” allowing you to use almost all public transport in the region for 3, 80 euros.

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