Monitor, inform, understand, innovate: the role of Airparif, a non-profit organization accredited by France’s Ministry of the Environment to monitor air quality

Surveiller, informer, comprendre, innover : le rôle d’Airparif, association agréée pour la surveillance de la qualité de l’air

Karine Léger,
Head of Airparif

In France, ambient air quality monitoring is conducted by independent non-profi t bodies accredited by government authorities. Airparif’s main role is to track and analyze atmospheric phenomena (both over the long term and for episodic pollution events), help policymakers formulate action plans, foster innovation and inform various stakeholders.

The challenges of air quality are of particular importance in cities. Indoor air pollution is an often-forgotten issue in the fi eld of air quality, since the general public is far more aware of atmospheric pollution than of pollution inside buildings. However, due to the accumulation of different pollutants and the fact that indoor air quality depends on outdoor air quality, indoor air quality actually tends to be worse than outside. This issue is especially important given that we spend around 80% of our time in closed spaces.

To meet these challenges, Airparif supports innovation via AIRLAB, a platform through which economic actors, research bodies and representatives from public organizations seek to test and assess innovative pollution measurement and treatment approaches. For example, one AIRLAB project relating to indoor air quality involves testing different categories of microsensors used indoors to give users unbiased information about the product’s suitability for its intended application. Airparif also provides ad hoc assistance to public bodies, at their request, to carry out measurements and provide consultancy services used to validate and interpret indoor air quality data obtained from sensitive locations, such as buildings used by particularly vulnerable members of the public. Lastly, its work also seeks to characterize the air pollution that people living in the Paris region are exposed to, incorporating existing work and data on indoor air quality.