Annecy: News to take your breath away



The beautiful Alpine town of Annecy, near the border of France and Switzerland has been in the news recently as a result of poor air quality. Apparently the cold air from the mountains keeps pollutants closer to ground level and causes a build-up of nasty micro-particles.  This is paradoxical in a way because the famous lake at Annecy is one of the cleanest in the world.

Low-cost flights to Geneva make it easy to get to Annecy and that's what we did a few year's ago. We're thinking of going back because it was one of the most relaxing (and we think healthiest) holidays we ever had.

Here is how Le Dauphine newspaper treated the story.

It uses the term coup de grisou which admittedly I had to look up. It means "firedamp", a miner's name for a methane explosion that occurs when the gas comes into contact with air.  Sounds about right.

That got me to thinking though ... what's being done about it?

The town is certainly taking it seriously and according to another report this month, while acknowledging that there are still some instances of pics de pollution, it looks as if there is an improving trend.
Check here for current details.

It does seem that France takes its air quality seriously.  I wondered in all this talk about Annecy being the 2nd most air polluted town in France how our own local air quality compares. At first click, it is not that obvious.  Check this online map to locate your town.

Find it?  What do you think?
Did you notice that the map has details of more towns in France being surveyed than most other EU countries?
Details are given for approximately 70 towns in France, Austria: 4, Belgium:1, Germany 6 and UK: 10 - Belfast not among them.

In fact, air quality in Northern Ireland is widely measured and there is some monitoring equipment near where I live.  It is reassuring to find that pollution at time of writing is low.
Still that way? Check here.

Even so, I think I'd still rather be in Annecy.

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