Press releases

Air pollution: alarm raised by physicians, scientists and NGOs

18 Jan 2017 | By Inserm (Newsroom) | Uncategorized

Pollution des voitures dans les villes

© Fotolia

While the “Crit’Air” air quality sticker came into force in Paris on 16 January 2017, several physicians, scientists and NGOs launched an appeal for urgent action on air pollution, recalling that it causes 48,000 premature deaths a year in France.

While France has just endured several prolonged episodes of severe particulate pollution, leading the public authorities to restrict car traffic in Paris, Lyon and Grenoble, Prof. Isabella Annesi-Maesano, Inserm Research Director, points out that pollution enters the body not only by inhalation, but also by ingestion and through the skin.

Children, who are particularly vulnerable, are the most affected, because of their immature respiratory system.

Finally, background pollution, much more than pollution spikes, is a risk factor or aggravating factor for respiratory diseases such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

To find out more:

See the press release from 17 March 2014

Atmospheric pollution: what are the impacts on health?

Read the file in Science et Santé magazine

Notre environnement, une menace pour notre santé (Our environment, a threat to our health)

See the press release from 15 October 2013

Large European study finds exposure to even low levels of air pollution during pregnancy increases risk of lower birthweight babies

Read the article in What’s on? from 10 April 2015

The cost of atmospheric pollution to health estimated at 1-2 billion annually

Read the Asthme (Asthma) file on

Read the file Bronchopneumopathie Chronique Obstructive (BPCO) (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, COPD) on

Researcher Contact

Isabella Annesi-Maesano
Directrice de recherche Inserm
Responsable de l’équipe « Epidémiologie des maladies allergiques et respiratoires »
01 44 73 84 49

Rémy Slama
Directeur  de recherche Inserm
Responsable de l’équipe « Epidémiologie environnementale appliquée à la reproduction et à la santé respiratoire »
Institut Albert Bonniot

06 29 64 58 95

Antoine Magnan
Responsable de l’équipe « Immunopathologie des maladies respiratoires»
Institut du Thorax

02 28 08 01 26

Michel Aubier
codirecteur de l’unité Inserm l’équipe « Epidémiologie des maladies allergiques et respiratoires »
01 40 25 68 00