Effects of Pollution on Health in France

Atmospheric pollution is responsible for 48,000 deaths a year in France and is the third cause of mortality after tobacco and alcohol, according to a study of health impact published by the French Public Health Agency ( pharmacie de garde urgence ). Pollution particles are behind 9% of deaths, numerous pathologies, respiratory problems and a shorter life expectancy, which can be reduced up to two years in the most polluted cities. Although its effects are greater in cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants where life expectancy is up to 15 months less, small cities, and even rural areas close to industrial areas, are not free from their consequences.

Types of pollution in France

Atmospheric Pollution causes 3 to 5% of deaths in adults in France according to figures up to 2002, urban pollution is caused mainly by the emissions of automobiles, the release of polluting particles by industrial activities and harmful agents of the air by heating systems , aerosols and air conditioning systems. Air pollution in Paris has reached levels harmful to health, reaching 80% higher than other European cities such as London or Berlin, it is expected that encouraging the use of bicycles, shared use of private vehicles and the reduction of limits of speed, The Galician authorities suspended the collection of public transport tickets in order to encourage the use of them and thus reduce gaseous emissions from private cars. The measure is temporarily good but incomplete if the problem is not addressed comprehensively.

Not to fix at 20 km / h the maximum speed or limiting the use of vehicles will have ended the problem. Although they are optimal measures, there are still other variables to be implemented, however we hope to reduce the pollution caused by the excessive use of vehicles in France. Paris tends to suffer from poor air quality compared to other capitals in Western Europe, where only Athens records worse records according to the annual measurements collected by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2008. The almost absolute absence of air and temperatures of some 10 degrees Celsius above the seasonal average are now also a factor, according to data from Meteo France,

Pollution control policies in France

In France the city that suffers most from pollution is its capital Paris, The city, which last year hosted the UN COP21 climate conference, wants to ensure that the air of the French capital is cleaner and that its citizens have a healthier environment, according to statements by local authorities, cars registered before October 1997 and motorcycles registered before June 1999 will be prohibited from circulating in the streets of the city from Monday to Friday; that will eliminate the vehicles that contribute with about five percent of the polluting elements linked to cancers, heart diseases and respiratory problems such as asthma. Paris, the most polluted capital among the metropolises of the European Union, has been left behind in terms of air quality control, however, it is introducing rules so that, from Monday to Friday, only zero-emission cars can circulate in its streets. Gasoline vehicles registered after January 2011, measure that will be valid until 2020. The government has approved doubling cycle ways, replacing traffic lights in red with posters giving way to cyclists and giving financial aid for purchases of electric bicycles, subscription to the system of shared electric cars in the city and a project to eliminate cars.

Main diseases caused by pollution in France

The areas of highest concentration of fine particles are urban areas, and in particular the Paris region, the Lyon area, Marseille and the northeast of France. Those fine particles with a diameter less than 2.5 micrometers can penetrate deep into our lungs, in the alveoli, enter the bloodstream and attack the cells of any organ. The consequence, he added, is the development of chronic diseases. , of asthma, of coronary diseases such as myocardial infarction and even neurological problems and malignant cells. More than 50% of pneumonia deaths in children under 5 years of age are caused by particles inhaled indoors with contaminated air.

Each year, 3.8 million premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases, in particular stroke, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer, are attributable to exposure to contaminated indoor air. Exposure to indoor air pollution almost doubles the risk of pneumonia in childhood. More than a half of the deaths of children under five years old caused by acute lower respiratory tract infection are due to the inhalation of indoor air particles contaminated with solid fuels (WHO, 2014). Approximately 17% of premature deaths caused each year by lung cancer in adults are attributable to exposure to indoor air carcinogens contaminated by the use of solid fuels such as wood and charcoal or cooking mineral. Women are in greater risk because of their role in food preparation.

Hygiene regulations for food for human consumption in France

The food sector is the first French industrial sector by turnover. But what is even more significant is that it currently transforms 70% of agricultural production. This means that most of the agricultural production goes through a process of transformation today. The state system of health surveillance, regulation and control has also evolved significantly in 1998 and 1999 with the adoption of two laws: the first creates the French Agency for Food Safety and the second reinforces the legal means of intervention of the State services

The principle of prior security is based, first, on the scientific knowledge acquired, particularly those related to latent hazards and the probability that they actually occur as a definition of risk. Food production companies are surrounded by competences that allow them to guarantee consumers the application of this principle of prior security.

The responsibility for their practices and their consequences translates into the obligation to establish self-checks. In 1998, an independent structure was created by law, the French Agency for Food Safety (AFSSA), to regroup a whole series of scattered investigations. Protected by the Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Consumption, this agency is a key element of the new monitoring, evaluation and assessment device for the health and nutritional risks of food.

Sanctions for breach of laws on protection of public health in France ( geoallo medecin de garde )

The constant technological advances resulting from the Second World War stimulated, to a great extent, the international food trade and managed to carry out a re-evaluation of its position. The groups of nations, once again, considered the international problems on additives and tolerances to pesticides, however, these discussions, which proved to be the starting point, failed in the attempt to create a positive regional harmonization of food standards. The post-war years also brought together groups of nations that, in order to facilitate the flow of perishable food as well as other kinds of food among nations, stressed the need to remove some national obstacles. France, on the other hand, has increased the standards of health in relation to food for human consumption, the absence or ineffectiveness of the self-controls established by the state may imply the application of serious administrative sanctions, ranging from the withdrawal of the products to the closing of the establishment; what corresponds to preventive measures. Food security is, therefore, guaranteed through a collective effort, by one hand professionals highly committed to the processes that ensure the quality of food, by the other hand consumers and their organizations, and, obviously, the public services.

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