Saturday November 23, 2019

Paris to Restrict Car Use as a Measure to Fight Against Surging Air Pollution

The other vehicles, mostly older and diesel cars, will be preventing from circulating in Paris following the unusual heatwave

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paris, air pollution
Only electric vehicles and those with clean air stickers 1 and 2 are allowed to enter the French capital on June 26 from 5:30 a.m. local time to midnight. Pixabay

Paris will restrict car use on Wednesday as a measure to fight against surging air pollution linked to intense heat wave that strikes most of French regions, the city’s police department announced on Tuesday.

Only electric vehicles and those with clean air stickers 1 and 2 are allowed to enter the French capital on June 26 from 5:30 a.m. local time to midnight, Paris police prefecture said.

Called also Crit’Air vignettes, the stickers have six colours that identify the emissions the vehicle produces according to the European emissions standard, the Xinhua news agency reported.

paris, air pollution
With polluted air raising health risks in a large part of Paris, the situation is critical to say the least. Pixabay

The other vehicles, mostly older and diesel cars, will be preventing from circulating in Paris following the unusual heatwave.

Amid expected high level of ozone pollution linked to rising temperatures, speed limits will also be cut by 20 kilometer per hour in Paris and Ile-de-France on Wednesday, while vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes will be asked to bypass the city centre and nearby surroundings completely.

Furthermore, Paris police department called on businesses that use polluting machinery to reduce operations, and avoid using solvent-based products, such as acetone, varnishes, glues or paints.

paris, air pollution
Called also Crit’Air vignettes, the stickers have six colours that identify the emissions the vehicle produces according to the European emissions standard, the Xinhua news agency reported. Pixabay

Like major Western European countries where unprecedented high temperatures will appear in at least the next six days, France is set to witness unseasonable temperatures which could even exceed 38 degrees Celsius in parts of eastern and southern regions in the coming days.

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For Wednesday, Meteo France predicts 34 degrees Celsius in the French capital. Temperature could reach up to 39 degrees by Friday afternoon.

Meteo France has put 65 departments, including Ile-de-France (Paris and its suburb), under orange alert due to intense heatwave and decided to maintain the alert system in these areas till Wednesday afternoon. (IANS)

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Exposure to Air Pollution May Trigger Alzheimer’s in Aged Women, Reveals Research

"Our hope is that by better understanding the underlying brain changes caused by air pollution, researchers will be able to develop interventions to help people with or at risk for cognitive decline," Petkus added

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Alzheimer's
A lady suffering from Alzheimer's. Flickr

Women in their 70s and 80s who were exposed to higher levels of air pollution experienced greater declines in memory and more Alzheimer’s-like brain atrophy than their counterparts who breathed cleaner air, new research has revealed.

“This is the first study to really show, in a statistical model, that air pollution was associated with changes in people’s brains and that those changes were then connected with declines in-memory performance,” said study researcher Andrew Petkus, the Assistant Professor University of South California in the US.

Previous research has suggested that fine particle pollution exposure increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

What scientists haven’t known is whether PM2.5 alters brain structure and accelerates memory decline.

For the study, published in the journal Brain, researchers used data from 998 women, aged 73 to 87, who had up to two brain scans five years apart as part of the landmark Women’s Health Initiative launched in 1993 by the US National Institutes of Health and enrolled more than 160,000 women to address questions about heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.

"The question for us now is not how to eliminate cholesterol from the brain, but about how to control cholesterol's role in Alzheimer's disease through the regulation of its interaction with amyloid-beta," Vendruscolo said.
In Alzheimer’s disease, patients start losing memory. Pixabay

Those brain scans were scored on the basis of their similarity to Alzheimer’s disease patterns by a machine learning tool that had been “trained” via brain scans of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers also gathered information about where the 998 women lived, as well as environmental data from those locations to estimate their exposure to fine particle pollution.

When all that information was combined, researchers could see the association between higher pollution exposure, brain changes and memory problems — even after adjusting to taking into account differences in income, education, race, geographic region, cigarette smoking, and other factors.

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“This study provides another piece of the Alzheimer’s disease puzzle by identifying some of the brain changes linking air pollution and memory decline. Each research study gets us one step closer to solving the Alzheimer’s disease epidemic,” Petkus said.

“Our hope is that by better understanding the underlying brain changes caused by air pollution, researchers will be able to develop interventions to help people with or at risk for cognitive decline,” Petkus added. (IANS)