Air pollution: containment avoids 3,500 deaths

We remember that last year, due to the first containment, air pollution had decreased significantly and even wild animals came to cities. In France, Public Health France, as part of its air and health surveillance program, assessed the short- and long-term impact of reducing air pollution while in custody on mortality in mainland France. The results presented on Wednesday are edifying: 2,300 deaths were avoided related to a reduction in exposure to particulates (the sources of which are diverse and represent the background pollution), and 1,200 deaths were avoided related to a reduction in exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), mainly in road traffic. “These results show that taking proactive measures to reduce airborne pollutants will significantly reduce the effects of air pollution on health and, in particular, on mortality,” estimates Public Health France, “which therefore achieves the best results.” Lessons from this period of containment to identify the most effective solutions to reduce air pollution in order to permanently reduce health effects. “In Occitania there was also a decrease in pollution. Atmo-Occitanie had seen a significant decrease in nitrogen dioxide rates (up to -63%), but not in fine particles.

8 months less life expectancy

Public Health France has also updated the estimates published in 2016 for the period 2007-2008. The impact of air pollution on annual mortality in mainland France in 2016-2019 is impressive: almost 40,000 deaths each year are attributable to the exposure of people aged 30 and over to particulate matter (PM2.5). “Therefore, exposure to air pollution means, on average for people 30 years and older, a loss of life expectancy of almost 8 months for PM2.5,” explains Public Health France.
“In terms of public policies, reducing traffic in urban areas or reducing industrial emissions are effective levers that are already in use or are in the process of being implemented. In terms of behavioral changes, teleworking or changes in modes of transport are likely to need to be perpetuated within French society “, Analyzes the organization.

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