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Court complaint over air pollution

Green groups call on judge to investigate dangerous pollution levels in Paris and Ile-de-France

HIGH levels of air pollution in Paris over the past few days have prompted an environmental group to lodge a court complaint complaining that lives were being put in danger.

Asthmatics and people with breathing and heart difficulties in Ile-de-France have been warned of the pollution danger since the middle of last week with dangerous levels of fine particles and nitrogen dioxide.

The World Health Organisation says air pollution is a severe health risk and the main environmental cause of cancer deaths. Now environment campaigners Rassemblement pour la Planète have called for a judge to investigate the causes.

Group spokesman Nadir Saifi, of Ecologie sans Frontière, told France Info radio: “Enough is enough. As soon as we have good weather, as soon as it is dry in winter, we have these pollution peaks and the hospitals fill. Complaints and small demonstrations have not worked.”

The pollution is caused by microscopic particles given off by house and factory chimneys plus vehicles, especially diesels, and last week Paris mairie banned its staff from using cars or motorbikes except in emergencies.

Airparif says that the pollution level is so high (85 on a scale of 100) that even a short exposure can endanger the health of those in the at-risk groups.

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