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|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
| 86 US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Benito Juarez is currently 5.8 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Monday, Feb 26
Moderate 70 AQI US
|Tuesday, Feb 27
Moderate 84 AQI US
|Wednesday, Feb 28
Moderate 76 AQI US
Moderate 86 AQI US
|Friday, Mar 1
Moderate 55 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 2
Moderate 58 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 3
Moderate 60 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 4
Moderate 59 AQI US
|Tuesday, Mar 5
Moderate 74 AQI US
|Wednesday, Mar 6
Moderate 74 AQI US
|Thursday, Mar 7
Moderate 78 AQI US
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Benito Juárez is one of the 16 boroughs into which Mexico City is divided. It is mainly a residential area towards the south of the city centre. With only about 2 per cent allocated for industrial use. According to a census conducted in 2020, Benito Juárez had an estimated population of approximately 450,000 people.
Towards the end of 2021, Benito Juárez was experiencing a period of “Moderate” air quality with a USAQI reading of 76. This United States Air Quality Index number is calculated using the levels of six of the most prolific air pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and both sizes of particulate matter, which are PM2.5 and PM10. It can then be used as the metric when comparing air quality in other cities around the world. If data is unavailable for all 6 pollutants, a figure can still be calculated by using what figures there are. In the case of Benito Juárez, only the pollutant PM2.5 was measured which was 24.1 µg/m³.
This level of PM2.5 is just below two and a half times above the recommended safe level of 10 µg/m³ as suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as being an acceptable level. Although no amount of air pollution is considered to be safe.
When the level of air pollution is classified as “Moderate”, the proffered advice would be to remain indoors as much as possible, closing all doors and windows to prevent more polluted air from entering the rooms. Those of a sensitive nature should limit their time spent outside and should always wear a good quality face mask when doing so. For up-to-date information about air quality, there is an app available from AirVisual which is downloadable for all mobile devices. This shows the air quality in real-time.
Looking back at the figures for 2020, published by IQAir.com, it can be seen that during the entire year, the readings for Benito Juárez fell into the “Moderate” category with readings between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. The month with the best air quality was July with a 13.9 µg/m³ figure. The worst was May with a 29.4 µg/m³ figure.
Records for air pollution were not kept before 2021 when a reading of 18.4 µg/m³ was recorded, however, this reading may have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as many vehicles were no longer in daily use because the offices were closed, in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus. Many factories and non-essential production units were also required to close which removed their emissions from the atmosphere, albeit it on a temporary basis.
The municipalities of Benito Juárez and Othón P. Blanco were classified as the two demarcations with the highest records of pollutants in the atmosphere, according to the Management Program for Better Air Quality in Quintana Roo. According to the program, drawn up by state and federal environmental authorities, in Benito Juárez private cars and taxis produce 56 per cent of nitrogen oxide (NOx) particles at the state level (10,464 tons per year), due to burning fuel.
It is very common that when talking about environmental deterioration in the metropolitan context, it is almost immediately related to environmental pollution problems, and in particular those related to air pollution, which is the most widespread and perceived environmental problem due to its effects on health.
The inhabitants of this metropolis are exposed daily to the effects of various pollutants, such as ozone, total suspended particles (PST), particles smaller than 10 micrometres (PM10 and PM2.5), nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide, amongst others.
Among the natural factors that increase the problem, the geographical location of Mexico City within the mountain ranges that constitute a natural physical barrier for the horizontal and vertical circulation of the wind, thus making it difficult to evacuate the polluted air outside. Additionally, this area is located within the central region of the country, which is why it is also subject to the influence of anticyclonic systems, generated both in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Pacific Ocean, which also hinders the dispersion of gases and polluting particles.
The altitude of the city is a factor that influences air quality, since due to the initial 2,240 meters above sea level of the basin, the oxygen in the region is 23 per cent lower than sea level, this implies poor combustion, with the consequent generation of more pollutants. Likewise, the natural tendency to thermal inversions between October and March hinders the expulsion of pollutants.
The city of the future must be a green city. Scientific studies associate green spaces - urban parks, gardens, tree-lined streets or forests, among others - with numerous health benefits in adults, such as reducing stress, living longer or a better general state of health and mind.
It's often not visible, but air pollution, particularly from traffic, is the cause of some of our most common illnesses. Lung cancer, stroke, respiratory diseases and a long etcetera are caused by this invisible killer. Beyond pollution, the urban environment in which we live has a direct impact on health and well-being.
Air pollution affects children's brains. Research concludes that daily exposure to nitrogen dioxide and soot (or black carbon), two of the pollutants associated with traffic, affect children's cognitive development.
Short term symptoms resulting from exposure to air pollution include itchy eyes, nose and throat, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, nausea, and upper respiratory infections (bronchitis and pneumonia). It also exacerbates asthma and emphysema. Long term effects include lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory illness, and developing allergies. Air pollution is also associated with heart attacks and strokes.
Healthy people can experience health impacts from polluted air including respiratory irritation or breathing difficulties during strenuous exercise or outdoor activities. The actual risk of adverse effects depends on the individual’s current health status, the pollutant type and concentration, and the length of exposure to the polluted air.