Heatwave poses health, pollution dangers to France

People bathe in a Paris fountain this week
People bathe in a Paris fountain this week Reuters/Charles Platiau

Temperatures in parts of France could reach 37°C Wednesday and Thursday, posing serious and health and safety risks.


The French weather service issued an Orange heatwave alert to 66 departments, warning residents to seek a climate-controlled space and avoid going out during the hottest hours of the day.

Meteoroligists say that temperatures were expected to hit 37°C in the Val-de-Marne, east of Paris, 36°C in Landes in the south-west and 35°C in Aube in the east by Wednesday afternoon.

Beyond heatstroke, authorities worry that the high temperatures could elevate already high pollution levels in and around Paris.

The concentration of ozone in the Paris region has exceeded the recommended level of 180g/m³ since Monday.

Traffic restricted in Paris

Paris police activated traffic restrictions - forbidding 28 percent of vehicles registered in the French capital from taking to the road Wednesday and Thursday.

They say the traffic restriction will reduce the amount of highly polluting nitrogen oxides emitted by 32 percent.

Additional restrictions limited cars and trucks from travelling over 20 km/h and carrying over 3.5 tons in the Paris region.

The Paris city council modified the hours of many public pools and parks.
Seven parks will be remain open overnight.

The same heatwave has kept temperatures high across Europe.

Temperatures in the northern hemisphere were 0.44°C above normal for Tuesday, according to the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine.

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