Theodore Slate - Nov 14, 2016
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Air pollution is responsible for 6.5 million deaths and various health problems of people around the world. 92% of the world population lives in places where air quality levels do not meet the limits set by WHO. The major sources of air pollution are the transport, household fuels, burning of waste, power plants fueled by coal, and industrial activities. In France, several cities exceed the limits as well (annual average concentration: 10 μg/m3). presents the top 5 French cities with the worst problems with air pollution.

1/ Paris

18 μg/m3

With 18 micrograms per m3 of air (μg/m3) on average per year, the French capital, home to more than 2 million people, is the most polluted city to fine particles (PM2.5). Despite that hotels in Greater Paris recorded 22.2 million tourism arrivals in 2015. Due to the January and November attacks, the drop in tourism remained moderate at 1.1% compared to 2014. Paris is home to the most visited art museum in the world, the Louvre, as well as the Musée d'Orsay, and the Musée National d'Art Moderne in the Pompidou Centre. The Central area of Paris along the Seine River is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site.

2/ Marseille

17 μg/m3 PM2.5 and 29 μg/m3 of PM10

Marseille, with 2600 years of history is the oldest city in France. It is also the second biggest city in the country with 850,000 inhabitants. It is home to 17 museums, the 1st French-speaking university, and many other attractions. As such it welcomed 5 million visitors in 2014. Still it is the second most polluted city in France.   

3/ Lille

17 μg/m3 PM2.5 and 22 μg/m3 of PM10

Lille is a modern metropolis and a home to 230,00 people. When opened in 1983, the city had the first and longest automated metro network in the world (45 km in 60 stations). The river port Lille can be also found here. The local Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille is the highlight of any tour around the city, as well as various botanic gardens, or the Lille cathedral. Annually, the city welcomes around 1 million tourists.

4/ Strasbourg

16 μg/m3 PM2.5 and 25 μg/m3 of PM10

Strasbourg is home to 275,000 people. It is the European capital and capital of Alsace. Visitors explore local museums, theaters, operas and concert halls.  It is home to world renowned historical heritage sites: the Grande Ile is listed as UNESCO World Heritage. Encircled by the river Ill, the city center is home to the main sights and monuments which make Strasbourg famous, including the Cathedral, the Maison Kammerzell, Petite France or the Ponts Couverts.

5/ Montpellier

16 μg/m3 PM2.5 and 20 μg/m3 of PM10

The city has 270,000 inhabitants. Annually, 5 million tourists come to visit Montpellier which is however the 5th city with the worst air pollution in France. Every year, 5.1 million tourists come to admire the attractions of the city – Zoo Lunaret and Amazonian greenhouse, Mare Nostrum Aquarium, and Musée Fabre. 

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