Ile-de-France: pollution decreased in 2021, but “still insufficiently” according to Airparif

Air pollution decreased in Ile-de-France in 2021, according to the Airparif report published on Tuesday April 5. But according to this observatory of air quality in the region, this remains “still insufficient”, especially around major axes.

“In 2021, the concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (gaseous pollutant mainly linked to road traffic) and PM10 and PM2.5 particles (mini solid objects present in the air linked to road traffic and wood heating) observed are in drop compared to those of 2019 and previous years”, welcomes Airparif on Tuesday.

A decrease which is explained in particular by “the downward trend in emissions from the residential sector and road traffic”, “coupled with dispersive weather conditions with generally mild temperatures in the winter period”, advances the observatory.

A steady decline for 10 years

Concretely, “particle concentrations have fallen on average by 35% for PM10 and 40% for PM2.5 as well as 30% for nitrogen dioxide over the past 10 years”, according to Airparif.

Only the year 2020, marked by several confinements and traffic restriction measures linked to the health crisis, was better than 2021. In fact, the levels of NO2, PM10 and PM2.5 increased slightly in 2021 compared to the previous year.

But beware, Airparif recalls that “the French and European regulatory limit value for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is always exceeded along major roads”. Among them, the Paris ring road but also the A1 motorway.

In total, according to the air quality observatory, 60,000 Ile-de-France residents are daily exposed to these overruns of “regulatory value”. They were 500,000 to be exposed to an exceedance of these limit values ​​for nitrogen dioxide in 2019.

For PM10 particles, “an overrun of the limit value is still noted for less than a thousand inhabitants”, and for fine PM2.5 particles and other regulated pollutants, “French regulatory limit values ​​are respected”, assures Air parif.

eleven episodes of pollution in 2021

As a reminder, and despite the overall decrease in air pollution in the region, Ile-de-France still experienced 11 episodes of pollution in 2021, “including 10 due to exceeding the information thresholds regulations for PM10 particles and one because of ozone, during the summer period”.

It is “the lowest number of days of overrun for ten years”, underlines the observatory, which recalls that up to 10 days of overrun of regulatory information thresholds had been reached in 2019, 15 in 2016 and more forty in the years 2011/2012. So many days “where pollution has an immediate impact on human health”, we explain at Airparif.

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