Automobile pollution.

pollutant detection and analysis station set up by ORAPIP.

(Regional Air Observatory in Midi Pyrenees.).

Ring road.



  • A study indicates the presence of nanoparticles in the urine of children from Strasbourg.

  • In question diesel, wood heating, industry.

  • For the Strasbourg respire collective, which took part in this study, the public authorities must take decisions quickly to improve air quality.

This is a first in France, but it is not necessarily good news, far from it.

According to a study in which the citizen collective and Strasbourg Respire whistleblower participated, children in the agglomeration have millions of toxic nanoparticles in their bodies.

The study led by Professor Tim Nawrot, a scientist from the University of Hasselt in Belgium, focused on 27 little Strasbourg residents aged 7 years on average, in different districts, such as Cronenbourg or Schiltigheim.

A study carried out in parallel in the city of Rybnik in Poland and where there is a coal factory.

As a result, more than a million ultrafine particles per milliliter of urine would have been identified in the children of Strasbourg who participated in the study.

Air pollution resulting from combustion particles (diesel, wood heating in winter, incineration type industries, coal, etc.) and composed of pure carbon, specifies the doctor and radiologist Thomas Bourdrel, founder of the Strasbourg breathing collective.

“These carbonaceous particles are the most toxic in terms of their composition and size, less than 0.1 µm, which allows them to cross the pulmonary barrier and reach all organs.

Concretely, this is equivalent to smoking for a child 5 to 10 cigarettes per day in passive smoking, depending on the peak of air pollution.

These data correspond to those of the WHO.

These ultrafine particles "considerably increase the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease and also cross the placenta of pregnant women with repercussions on the fetus", assures Thomas Bourdrel.

Proportional to proximity to a road axis

Another problem, the study reveals that the measured particle rates are directly proportional to the distance of the home from a major road axis.

“Within 150 meters of distance, the rates measured in the urine of children from Strasbourg increase sharply and at less than 50 meters, the rates explode.

»Any advice for Strasbourg residents?

“At first, it is better not to settle near the main roads, to promote the construction of housing in these sectors or to move.


Our air pollution dossier

Emilie, a teacher and resident in Cronenbourg, whose 9-year-old boy took part in the study, is not really surprised, even if the results per child who participated have not yet been communicated to her.

“We all cough at home, so we take more walks in the forest,” says the mother.

The solution, move?

No, rather act at my level, locally, ”explains the teacher who is already behind several initiatives such as the pedestrianization of the street of her school.

"A weapon to seize justice"

“Now with this study, citizens have one more weapon to take legal action, underlines Thomas Bourdrel, recalling that like 11 other large French cities, air pollution is not legal, above European standards. .


Also, the group calls on the public authorities to set up low emission zones excluding diesel vehicles, to reduce emissions from collective or individual wood heating or even to strengthen controls and sanctions on industrial emissions.


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