Paris sounds pollution alert as temperature soars

20th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 20 (AFP) - Authorities in Paris issued a first-stage health alert for people with respiratory problems after air pollution levels surged on Monday in response to baking, breezeless heat.

PARIS, June 20 (AFP) - Authorities in Paris issued a first-stage health alert for people with respiratory problems after air pollution levels surged on Monday in response to baking, breezeless heat.

The monitoring agency Airparif said ground-level ozone rose above a key threshold of 180 microgrammes per cubic metre on Monday afternoon.

Beyond this level, young children, people with asthma, the elderly and individuals with breathing problems are advised to avoid exertion.

Airparif said the quality of air in the capital was rated at eight ('bad') on a scale ranging from zero to 10, with 10 being the worst pollution level.

Ozone, a molecule of oxygen, is protective in the stratosphere because it helps to filter the sun's dangerous ultra-violet light.

At ground level, though, where it forms through a reaction between sunlight and vehicle exhausts, it is a potentially harmful irritant for the airways.

The temperature in central Paris rose to 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday on the second successive day of high temperatures.

On Sunday, city authorities urged drivers to use public transport so as not to aggravate the problem.

The French League for Animal Rights, meanwhile, warned dog lovers that their pets could suffer suffocating heat and burned paws from contact with the scorching sidewalk.

It said that it had measured asphalt temperatures of up to 45 degrees (113 F) on Sunday, when the air temperature was 34 degrees (93.2 F).

At five centimetres (two inches) above the ground, it was still 44.1 degrees (113.4 F) and at 10 cms (four inches) above the ground, it was 43 C (109.4).

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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