what impact on noise and air pollution?

“Paris Respire without cars 2022”, it was September 18, 2022, a day almost without cars. What are the results of air pollution and noise levels in the French capital?

In Paris, Sunday 18 September 2022 was characterized by the closure of the main roads (outside the ring road) to traffic, between 11:00 and 18:00 for all motor vehicles: two-wheelers and electric vehicles included. This symbolic day introduced as part of the 8th edition of “Paris Breathe without a car” has seen noise and pollution levels drop significantly.

40% reduction in noise

To assess the impact of the operation in terms of the sound environment, Bruitparif compared the sound levels observed on Sunday 18 September 2022 between 11:00 and 18:00 with those admitted on Sundays during normal times (after the health crisis). The comparison is made with the median of Sundays over a year: from Sunday 5 September 2021 to Sunday 11 September 2022 (excluding Sundays in the period from 17 July 2022 to 28 August 2022 inclusive).

The overall reduction in noise observed at the Bruitparif stations in Paris was 2.2 dB(A) in the opening at The most significant improvement was observed at Quai de Gesvres with a reduction of 4.2 dB(A), or 62% less noise emission.

On the ring road, which remained open to traffic, the noise level remained close to a typical Sunday (sound level increased by 0.5 dB(A) at the station level with the Porte d’Auteuil ring road and a decrease of 0.3 dB(A ) at the station at the Porte de Vincennes ring road).

It should be noted that the average noise levels measured during the Paris Respire operation are not solely due to the noise levels from the traffic, as numerous activities of all kinds (sometimes generating noise) have taken place in the streets of the inhabitants.

For Olivier Blond, president of Bruitparif, ” Our results remind us of the importance of road traffic for noise in urban areas. Everyone can feel the reconciliation and the change in the sound environment as a result of a reduction in car traffic. Our studies show that the impact on noise is large and that it is immediate. It is even more important than the one on air pollution. In fact, our sensors measure an average 40% reduction in noise levels, while Airparif studies show a 20% reduction in NO2 concentrations – which is already remarkable. “.

The impact of noise on health is great : the latest Bruitparif study showed that noise in Île-de-France is responsible for the loss of 108,000 years of good health (DALY – Disability adjusted life years) every year, representing a loss of 10.7 months per year. average over a lifetime.

20% reduction in air pollution

In terms of air pollution, Airparif has published the first assessment of the consequences of Paris Respire and Pantin car-free day on air quality. In Paris, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations during the day on 18 September 2022 were almost 20% lower than on a typical Sunday. This decrease is particularly marked along the main thoroughfares.

nitrogen dioxide is a characteristic pollutant for car traffic, which is why it is concentrated along carriageways. It is inside the cabin of vehicles that the highest levels of NO2 are recorded (from 100 to more than 500 µg/m3). Diesel cars (with diesel) emit 5 to 6 times more nitrogen dioxide than petrol cars.

Compared to a usual Sunday, between 10:00 and 17:00, the most significant decrease was measured at the level of the station along the Quai des Célestins with a decrease of 30%. Across Paris, the maximum improvement in air quality was observed in the period from 13:00 to 14:00, with an average drop in nitrogen dioxide concentrations of over -30%.

Airparif also records reductions in the concentration of fine particles along the major traffic routes.

According to a study produced by the Île-de-France Regional Health Observatory (ORS-IDF) and Airparif, air quality is improving and the impact on health is quantifiable: between 2010 and 2019, the annual number of deaths attributable to long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide is one of the most important air pollutants, decreased from 4,520 in 2010 to 3,680 in 2019, a decrease of -19%. For PM2.5 fine particles, the decrease in mortality in the same period was estimated at -40%. Nevertheless, air pollution is still responsible for almost 1 in 10 deaths in Île-de-France.


Reproduction rights for text

CC BY-NC-ND Attribution – Non-Commercial Use – No Derivatives


Do you like our articles? ❤️ Support independent media!

our planet.Informationthat’s more than 20 years of independent information and objective insight into the state of our planet and its inhabitants.
Almost all of our funding comes from our internet users !
In light of significant setbacks in freedom of expression, reason and scientific debate, We need you to ensure the continuity of our work. Thank you for your support :

🙏 We’re counting on you, thank you!


Ask a question/comment on this article

Leave a Comment