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The city of light is really hard to see these days
Friday, March 14th, 2014

Thomson Reuters — Air pollution in Paris has hit health-threatening levels over 80 percent higher than in London and Berlin as a sunny spell reaches western Europe, prompting the city to curb road speeds and offer free public transport.

Charges were also waived for the city's pioneering cycle and electric car-sharing schemes this week as a visible haze hung over the streets of the French capital.

Background pollution — the outdoor air quality experienced by the average citizen — topped the 100 maximum measurable index level in Paris on Thursday, data from pollution watchdog airqualitynow.eu showed, making the French capital the only European capital in the "very high" level zone.

Paris smog 6
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Photo taken on March 11, 2014 shows the Eiffel tower and Paris' roofs through a haze of pollution.

(PATRICK KOVARIK - AFP/Getty Images)
Paris smog 5
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Photo taken on March 11, 2014 shows the Eiffel tower and Paris' roofs through a haze of pollution.

(PATRICK KOVARIK - AFP/Getty Images)
Paris smog 1
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A view of the Notre-Dame cathedral seen through thick smog, on March 14, 2014, in Paris.

(PATRICK KOVARIK - AFP/Getty Images)
Paris smog 2
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A view of buildings in Paris seen through thick smog, on March 14, 2014. Fine particle pollution in several French cities continued unabated today as the modest measures taken by local authorities failed to solve the underlying problem.

(THOMAS SAMSON - AFP/Getty Images)
Paris smog 3
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A view of the Eiffel Tower seen through thick smog, on March 14, 2014, in Paris.

(PATRICK KOVARIK - AFP/Getty Images)
Paris smog 8
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Photo taken on March 11, 2014 shows the Eiffel tower and Paris' roofs through a haze of pollution.

(PATRICK KOVARIK - AFP/Getty Images)
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