The 'exposome': tracing chronic diseases and their environmental causes

International — Interview

Around the world, tens of thousands of chemicals are present in the environment, in soil, the air and in water, and little is known about their individual consequences on human health nor how to measure them. Lifelong exposure to environmental pollution and the non-genetic causation of diseases this may have is the focus of a relatively recent and pioneering field of inter-disciplinary scientific research, and which encompasses social and dietary factors, a notion called the ‘exposome’. In this interview with Mediapart’s Jade Lindgaard, epidemiologist Paolo Vineis, one of Europe’s leading specialists on the subject, explains the umbrella approach of ‘exposomics’.       

Firm which produces France's favourite bottled water faces claims of polluting stream

France — Investigation

For nearly twenty years fishermen, residents and environment inspectors have raised the alarm over pollution seeping from an industrial bottling plant owned by the French group Roxane in Normandy. Locals say the organic pollution has caused major harm to the stream, which feeds into the River Sarthe. Roxane, the third largest French bottling company and owner of Cristaline, the most widely-consumed bottled water in the country, also has its headquarters at the site. Mathieu Martiniere of the independent journalists collective 'We Report' investigates.

Nestlé sued over tonnes of dead fish in French river

France — Link

Several tonnes of dead fish were reported in the Aisne river in north-east France close to a Nestlé factory.

France rebuked by EU court for diesel pollution in cities

France — Link

The EU Court of Justice said France had 'systematically and persistently' exceeded annual threshold for nitrogen dioxide since January 1st 2010.

The dirty side of sea travel

International — Investigation

The expanding cruise ship industry estimates more than 27 million people worldwide will this year holiday on the giant vessels, some of which are longer than an aircraft carrier, often dwarfing the landscapes of the ports they dock in. Environmentalists warn that they also leave behind them a noxious blend of particulates and gases that represent a serious health risk to the populations of the locations they visit, the tip of the iceberg of the problem of pollution caused by maritime traffic. Dorothée Moisan reports on the dirty side of sea travel.

Paris aims to ban all petrol-fuelled vehicles by 2030

France — Link

Paris City Hall said it is working towards a ban on petrol-powered vehicles in the capital by 2030, following its recent announcement of a similar ban on diesel-driven vehicles by 2024, in a drive to reduce chronic air pollution. 

How Dakar uses the Atlantic Ocean as a septic tank


Despite the poor quality of its water, the Senegalese coast remains a popular destination. But the planned construction of a local desalination plant on the shores of the West African nation next year has roused opposition from locals who believe the project will do long-term damage to the environment. Fabien Offner reports from the capital Dakar.

France plans new incentives to phase out polluting vehicles

France — Link

Environment minister wants financial inducement to switch to a less polluting vehicle to be available to all owners of older cars from 2018.

Heatwave poses health, pollution dangers to France

France — Link

French weather service issues a heatwave alert in 66 counties, warning people to avoid going out during the hottest hours of the day.

Paris woman sues French state over pollution health hazard

France — Link

Clotilde Nonnez, a 56-year-old yoga teacher who has lived in Paris  for 30 years, claims that she suffers numerous health problems, ranging from chronic asthma to pneumonia, because of the French state's failure to contain pollution in the capital.

Paris begins applying new vehicle ban scheme as pollution levels soar

France — Link

A new windscreen sticker scheme called Crit'Air which all vehicles must display and which grades them according to age and fuel type was introduced for the first time in a temporary ban of most-polluting categories from the French capital which is witnessing a particularly high level of pollution this week. 

Paris air pollution hits 10-year peak

France — Link

The extreme levels of air pollution in the capital, exacerbated by many days of dry weather and little wind, have prompted a partial vehicle ban, free parking on public roads and free use of the city's public transport system.

Paris stages ambitious second car-free day

France — Link

The Sunday car ban covered larger part of the city than last year's event, closing off more than 400 miles of roads in fight against air pollution.

Bold Paris anti-pollution plan clouded by social divisions


Every year in France, atmospheric pollution causes the deaths of an estimated 48,000 people and annually costs the country’s economy more than 100 billion euros. The authorities in Paris, where pollution has reached record peaks in recent years, this month introduced a programme to restrict access to the capital by most-polluting vehicles and incentives for inhabitants to give up ownership of cars. But, as Laurent Geslin reports, the plan has been attacked as discriminating for lower-income groups of the population amid wide disagreement between government, city authorities and political parties on how to tackle a growing health crisis.

Paris to restrict city access to pre-1997 cars from July 1st

France — Link

The anti-pollution move concerns Monday to Friday daytime access and will become an outright ban in 2020, when access for pre-2011 cars will be restricted.