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  1. ITV Report

The most polluted cities in Europe

Police stop a motorist from driving on the Champs d'elise after a current crackdown. Photo: REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

The French Government has today imposed driving restrictions in Paris in a bid to tackle dangerous pollution levels in the city.

Motorists will now only be able to use their cars on alternate days, according to the odd or even numbers on their licence plates.

Instead commuters will be offered free public transport, including cycle and electric car-sharing schemes.

We take a look at the top 10 most polluted cities around Europe:

1) Naples, Italy

Due to the Camorra Mafia controlling dumps and the waste management business in the region, workers in 2007 refused to pick up any rubbish causing a widespread rise in cancer-related mortality, mainly caused by pollution from illegal waste disposal by the criminal organization. The regions that have been most affected by soaring cancer rates is called 'The Triangle of Death'.

Piles of rubbish lie on a street in Cefalu in Italy Credit: Jens Kalaene/DPA/Press Association Images

2) Bucharest, Romania

In a 2009 study by Ecopolis, life expectancy could be 22 months longer if air pollution was reduced. The report said "Bucharest is often and substantially above the threshold of polluting substances allowed in the air by the European Union and the World Health Organisation" taken from a report analysing air pollution between 2004 and 2009.

The strip mine is pictured in Jaenschwalde, Germany Credit: PATRICKÂ PLEUL

3) Skopje, Macedonia

A City of Skopje website “Skopje Breathing” says that the prevalence of dust is 433 micrograms per cubic meter currently, yet the World Health Organisations limit stands at 50 micrograms PCM which far exceeds it.

Thick smoke from industrial chimneys and weather are contributing factors for smog

4) Varna, Bulgaria

In February 2014, excessive air pollution was registered in 15 Bulgarian cities. In four of them – Varna, Pernik, Pleven and Lovech, the air pollution was nearly twice as high as the allowed levels.

Aerial view over polluted waters in the Black Sea. Credit: Liba Taylor/Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

5) Mannheim, Germany

Mannheim is one of Europe’s largest inland ports so heavy industrial pollution can occur - but in recent studies water contamination studies have become frequently prevalent.

Steam rises from the cooling tower of the Vattenfall power plant Credit: PATRICKÂ PLEUL

6) Kiev, Ukraine

Due to peat-bogs and factories around the capital, Kiev can experience high levels of smog especially in the summer months. These fires can be extremely hot, and along with the dry weather a high (class 4) and extremely high (class 5) smog alert is given across the city.

Evacuated Pripyat near Kiev after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Credit: Victoria Ivleva-Yorke/Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

7) Turin, Italy

Another Italian city makes the list. In two surveys, for a report on air pollution across Europe, Italy's car manufacturing capital Turin recorded 30.1 and 30.0 microgrammes per cubic metre of the particles - above the EU's recommended 25 microgrammes per cubic metre.

Sign asking motorists to switch of engines at railway level crossing. Credit: Paul Seheult/Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

8) Brescia, Italy

Due to increases in pollution a hospital study found a significant association between high pollution levels and admission heart failure and coronary disease

Heart failure is rising in Italy due to high levels of pollution Credit: Bob Collier/PA Wire

9) Antwerp, Belgium

One for Belgium as traffic is one of the biggest culprits in Antwerp, with 53% of diesel soot emissions coming from road traffic on the freeways around the city - a government report stated in 2011.

Smog is prevalent in many European cities. Credit: Werther SANTANA/DPA/Press Association Images

10) Sliema, Malta

A residents' association in the city of Sliema said pollution was the consequence of the town's unsustainable development along with heavy traffic. They also argued that it was "ironic that overdevelopment has been authorised by the planning authority, which was also responsible for monitoring air quality".

French police officers control cars with number plates ending in even numbers. Credit: Christophe Guibbaud/ABACAPRESS.COM