Pollution & Health

Spatial Distribution of PM2.5 Mass and Number Concentrations in Paris, France from the Pollutrack Network of Mobile Sensors during 2018–2022


The presence of particulate matter smaller than 2.5 µm in diameter (PM2.5) in ambient air has a direct pejorative effect on human health. It is thus necessary to monitor the urban PM2.5 values with high spatial resolution to better evaluate the different exposure levels that the population encounters daily. The Pollutrack network of optical mobile particle counters on the roofs of hundreds of vehicles in Paris was used to produce maps with a 1 km2 resolution (108 squares to cover the Paris surface). The study was conducted during the 2018–2022 period, showing temporal variability due to different weather conditions. When averaging all the data, the highest air pollution was found along the Paris motorway ring. Also, the mean mass concentrations of PM2.5 pollution increased from southwest to northeast, due to the typology of the city, with the presence of canyon streets, and perhaps due to the production of secondary aerosols during the transport of airborne pollutants by the dominant winds. The number of days above the new daily threshold of 15 µg.m−3 recommended by the WHO in September 2021 varies from 3.5 to 7 months per year depending on the location in Paris. Pollutrack sensors also provide the number concentrations for particles greater than 0.5 µm. Using number concentrations of very fine particles instead of mass concentrations corresponding to the dry residue of PM2.5 is more representative of the pollutants citizens actually inhale. Some recommendations for the calibration of the sensors used to provide such number concentrations are given. Finally, the consequences of such pollution on human health are discussed.

Full Publication (En) : MDPI Published on October 2023 - PDF File

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