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Mexico City Announces Plans to Fight Air Pollution: What Health Concerns Remain?

By May 4, 2016 No Comments
6 minutes to read

The city’s new plans for addressing widespread air pollution issues have been met with skepticism.

Recently, plans were announced to implement a car driving ban in Mexico City to combat alarmingly high levels of pollution in the city. Reports say that from April 5 to June 30, all privately owned cars will be required to remain off of the streets for a designated amount of time.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor Report “How Mexico City plans to fight air pollution”

“Under the city’s new program announced Wednesday, all privately owned cars must remain off streets one day per week as well as one additional Saturday per month. The initiative comes after the city issued a four-day air quality alert on March 14, after the city experienced air pollution at double the national acceptance level. The city’s “Hoy No Circula,” or “no circulation,” program ramps up the country’s previous efforts to tackle air pollution.”

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Federal Environment Secretary Rafael Pacchiano tweeted of the ‘Hoy No Circula’ initiative “The definitive ‘no circulation’ program will align with the new rule for vehicular verification that will be presented soon… In addition to the car ban, the commission is also working on medium-term solutions like improving public transport.”

Some have already begun criticizing the effort announced several days after a four-day air quality alert was issued following the city experiencing air pollution at double the level for meeting national acceptance standards. The Center of Atmospheric Studies of Mexico’s national university (UNAM) said in a statement of the issue “What’s really behind the problem is the messy urban expansion that affects air quality, ecological reserves, crops, and water resources… In summary, the sustainability and viability of the Mexican megalopolis.”

The Impact of Outdoor Pollution on Indoor Air Quality and Public Health

More than 20 million people reside in greater Mexico City, making it the third largest city in the world. Mexico City has in the past been named by the United Nations as having the most polluted air in any city across the globe. According to the clean air experts of Camfil, uncontrolled outdoor air pollution like that present in Mexico City can have a dramatic impact on public health largely due to the unrealized problem of HVAC systems funneling, and shifting around polluted outdoor air inside.

The company has stated of the issue in a past publication “Although it is difficult for us to limit our exposure to outdoor pollution, we can do a lot to improve indoor air. Since we spend most of our time inside buildings, indoor air quality is crucial to our health. Pollution found inside a building is a cocktail of outdoor air pollutants and indoor pollutants such as, tobacco smoke, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and biological pollutants.”

Camfil has led the charge in developing clean air technologies that serve the needs of various entities facing challenges with significant indoor pollution problems. Says Camfil “Improving indoor air quality should also be a component of the plan for reducing the health risks likely faced by many in Mexico City as a result of the high level of air pollution described in recent news reports.”

For more information about the viability of Camfil’s air filtration products and services read the available industry case studies found here.

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