5 stereotypes about air quality !

Posted By: Bénédicte - Community manager WAIR In: All about air pollution On: Comment: 0 Hit: 3274

Don't trust what they tell you ... 


Today, when it comes about air pollution we do not really know what to think. We hear that we have to lock ourselves at home, or that we should live on Mars because, anyway, we are lost … As soon as a pollution peaks comes to the top of his nose we hear about it non-stop and when it's over, nothing ... as if the pollution had disappeared by magic. But unfortunately it does not work like that.  

So let's start by restoring the truth about the few misconceptions you hear regularly. 

1 - When the air is polluted we stay at home !

Well no, especially not ! 

First of all, the indoor air is also very polluted. The sources of pollution are not the same as that of outdoor pollution, but the result is just as harmful. So recommendation number 1: Ventilate your home ! The government of France has put in place different thresholds to define the state of the situation in case of pollution peak:  

Threshold of information and recommendation :

Basically we are informed that the level of pollution is a little higher than normal. We are advised to remain vigilant about our health (appearance of symptoms) and for the vulnerable, it is recommended to reduce or avoid intense physical and sport activities outdoors or indoors. 

State of alert :

Here it is already a little more preoccupant. The alert state has three thresholds : If we exceed a certain amount of pollutants in the air per cubic meter for more than one hour to 3 hours. 

Tableau des seuils d'alertes lors d'un pic de pollution. Source AIRPARIF

N.B: If we go over the third threshold, it's time to move to Mars! 

The best recommendations that we can make you in case of pollution peaks is to limit the intense efforts to not ventilate more than the normal and protect your lungs with a airtight anti-pollution mask (we can never insist enough ! ). In other words, if you avoid training for the marathon Paris exactly that day, everything should be fine. And if you travel by bike you can also avoid driving in the traffic jams by slightly changing your route for a less polluted way. No reason, therefore, to stay at home when there are pollution peaks. Go out, take your bike and get a breath !  

So finally, it's not the day of tomorrow that you will take advantage of the excuse "Sorry, it's too polluted I can’t come work" to remain hidden all day in your couch ...;)

2 - It's on my bike that I'm most exposed to pollution

Surprise ! 

That’s not the cyclists, nor even the pedestrians most exposed to pollution, but the motorists. They are constantly in the flow of traffic in an enclosed space. Cyclists and pedestrians have the ability to partially move away from the flow of traffic if they can. It is also strongly recommended to open the windows when you are stopped in traffic jams to ventilate the cockpit and not to remain cloistered with all these damn particles around you.  

3 - Pollution smells !

So yes, you'll tell me that when you're behind the muffler of a bus, you smell all the pollution. Indeed, this is unfortunately the case .. But on the contrary, it is not because the air does not smell the good big diesel full nose that it is not polluted ! Nuance ... And this is the mistake that too many people are doing today (media included ) : put aside the importance of good air quality and talk about it only during pollution peaks periods. It’s therefore important to get regular information on the level of pollution to act accordingly. 

In this way ... At WAIR we have developed an air quality information app, which allows you to know in real time the pollution index at the place where you are. A good solution to realize that the air is polluted much more often than we think and that it is finally useful to protect itself ! 

Take advantage of it and download for free SUPAIRMAN by WAIRavailable on IOS and android. 

4 - It is less polluted in the countryside

Ah la la .. I see you all already perplexed face to this statement that will destroy your future impressions of a breath of fresh air in the countryside during the weekend. 

But it is a fact : the air breathed in the countryside can sometimes contain many pollutants emitted during agricultural practices (for example, application of pesticides and fertilizers). So we can not consider the air of the countryside "purer" than that of the city. The pollution emitted comes from different origins, but, once again, the consequences and the precautions to be taken are the same as with the urban pollution. 

5 - Anti-pollution masks are ineffective against pollution.

Once again .. NO !  

Let's clear things up. Many masks that are found on the market today are ineffective against pollution, for the simple reason that they don’t make the sealing on your face and not necessarily certified. 

Let me explain: a good anti-pollution mask must contain a structure that will stick to your face to create a seal. In other words : you can have the most powerful filter of the world in your mask, if this one is not well sealed the air will finally pass by the leaks in the face and will filter nothing. Missed !Some masks are now able to filter micro-particles, the most harmful to health. But we have to check that they are well certified to the standards in force and that it is not just marketing well done.  

The importance of protecting oneself outside pollution peaks can not be overemphasized. When it rains you take an umbrella right? Well, it should be the same in case of pollution. There is still a (very) long way to go to change attitudes and behaviors. But if everyone already apprehends the quality of the air in a fairer way and without saying anything .. we should be able to find ourselves on the right track. 

Find our anti-pollution mask designed for urbans and breathe better ! 

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