Air pollution in Mexico City

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A NASA satellite image of smog in the Valley of Mexico in 1985

Air pollution in Mexico City is a continuing concern for citizens, health experts, and environmentalists. The air pollution of the Mexico City Metropolitan Area, contained within the Valley of Mexico, is measured by the Índice Metropolitano de la Calidad del Aire (Metropolitan Index of Air Quality).

History[edit]

It has been said that "Mexico City’s air has gone from among the world’s cleanest to among the dirtiest in the span of a generation."[1] Historic air pollution episodes of the 1950s led to acute increases in infant mortality.[2]

Much improvement was made in the city since 1992, when the United Nations named Mexico City "the most polluted city on the planet." At the time pollution was thought to cause 1,000 deaths and 35,000 hospitalizations per year.[3]

In 2012 ozone and other air pollutants ranked at about the same level as Los Angeles.[4] This improvement in air quality was achieved, starting in the 1980s, through the Mexican government's requirement that gasoline be reformulated, that polluting factories be closed or moved, and that drivers be prohibited from using their car one day per week. More recently there has been an expansion of public transportation.[5] Air pollution has been a major issue in Mexico City for decades.

Present day[edit]

However, after loosening regulations in 2015 by the Mexico City government, air pollution has steadily increased in recent years in Greater Mexico City. This regulatory change was fostered by political reasons and backed by several parties. In April and May 2016 ozone and suspended matter pollution in Mexico City had reached levels that were detrimental to health, though the criterion to signal a pollution alert is lower in 2016 than it was in the 1980s.[6] The city's population continues to grow, to spread out, which lengthens automobile trips, and the number of autos in the city increases yearly.[7]

Connections have been found between air pollution and school absenteeism among children in Mexico City,[8] between air pollution and heart rate variability among the elderly in Mexico City,[9] and between urban air pollutants on emergency visits for childhood asthma in Mexico City.[10][11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Air pollution in Mexico City, smog, health effects, fossile fuels". Sbg.ac.at. Retrieved 2010-06-09. 
  2. ^ D Loomis; M Castillejos; DR Gold; W McDonnell (1999), Air pollution and infant mortality in Mexico City, Epidemiology, JSTOR 3703084 
  3. ^ O'Connor, Anne-Marie (2010-04-01). "Mexico City drastically reduced air pollutants since 1990s". The Washington Post. 
  4. ^ Cave, Damien (2012-04-09). "Vertical Gardens in Mexico a Symbol of Progress". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ Cave, Damien (2012-04-09). "Vertical Gardens in Mexico a Symbol of Progress". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ "Mexico City declares 3rd day of traffic cuts over high smog". Daily Mail. May 4, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2017 – via Associated Press. 
  7. ^ Campbell, Monica (May 12, 2016). "Why Mexico City's bad air can't be ignored — or easily fixed". PRI's The World. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  8. ^ I Romieu; MC Lugo; SR Velasco (1992), Air pollution and school absenteeism among children in Mexico City, American Journal 
  9. ^ F Holguín; MM Téllez-Rojo; M Hernández; M Cortez (2003), Air pollution and heart rate variability among the elderly in Mexico City, Epidemiology, JSTOR 3703307 
  10. ^ I Romieu; F Meneses; JJL Sienra-Monge (1995), Effects of urban air pollutants on emergency visits for childhood asthma in Mexico City, American journal 
  11. ^ Alva-Gonzáles,, Miguel-Ángel (2008). Environmentally unfriendly consumption behaviour : theoretical and empirical evidence from private motorists in Mexico City ... (PDF). Göttingen: Cuvillier. ISBN 978-3-86727-596-5. 

External links[edit]