Air pollution costs France 100 billion euros a year
France and particularly its capital Paris have suffered from worrying spikes in air pollution in recent years and the cost of the problem was laid bare in a Senate report.
The report spearheaded by Senator Jean-François Husson found that the annual cost of air pollution was €101.3 billion a year, with the vast majority of that sum going towards healthcare.
Around 42,000 premature deaths each year are put down to France's high air pollution levels, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), not to mention the increase in the number of cancer victims and asthma and allergy sufferers.
Wednesday's report estimated that the annual cost of treating these people, together with the losses of an estimated 650,000 days of work absenteeism, is between €68 billion and €97 billion.
The study, which was carried out over four months and saw over 70 experts consulted, found that a further €4.3 billion was lost through poor crop yields, poor soil quality, and building degradation. It noted, for example, that the recent clean up of the Pantheon in Paris cost €900,000, over ten times the initial estimates. ■