|2||Tlalixtac de Cabrera, Oaxaca|
|3||Loma Chapultepec, Oaxaca|
|5||Tlahuac, Mexico City|
|6||San Andres Ocotlan, Morelos|
|8||Juarez, Nuevo Leon|
|9||Coacalco, State of Mexico|
|10||San Miguel, State of Mexico|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 83 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Garcia air is currently 5.5 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Close your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air|
|Sensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise|
|Sunday, May 15|
Moderate 74 US AQI
|Monday, May 16|
Moderate 83 US AQI
|Tuesday, May 17|
Moderate 96 US AQI
|Wednesday, May 18|
Moderate 96 US AQI
Moderate 83 US AQI
|Friday, May 20|
Moderate 53 US AQI
|Saturday, May 21|
Moderate 87 US AQI
|Sunday, May 22|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 123 US AQI
|Monday, May 23|
Moderate 97 US AQI
|Tuesday, May 24|
Moderate 70 US AQI
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Garcia is a municipality located to the northwest of the Monterrey metropolitan area in the state of Nuevo León, Mexico. According to a 2005 census, Garcia had an estimated population of around 150,000 people.
Towards the middle of 2021, Garcia was going through a period of “Moderate” air quality with a US AQI reading of 51. This United States Air Quality Index number is an internationally used set of metrics supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is used to compare air quality in different cities throughout the world using comparable standards. It is calculated by using the levels of the six most commonly found pollutants. If figures are not all available, the figure is calculated using what information is available. The only pollutant measured in Garcia was PM2.5 which was 12.1 µg/m³.
With a level such as this, the advice is to close doors and windows to prevent more dirty air from entering the room. Those of a sensitive disposition are advised to remain indoors or if travel outside is unavoidable, then a good quality mask is recommended. The table at the top of this page will help with that decision.
Air quality is very volatile and can change rapidly. It can be affected by many variables such as wind speed and direction, the strength of the sunlight and during the various seasons of the year.
Looking at the published figures from IQAir.com, it can easily be seen that the worst air quality was experienced in March when the figure was 39.6 µg/m³. This placed it into the “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” classification. For the remaining eleven months of the year, Garcia enjoyed “Moderate” air quality with readings between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³.
Air quality records were first kept in 2019 when the recorded figure was 24.3 µg/m³ and the following year of 2020 showed a slight improvement with a 23.9 µg/m³ reading. However, this figure may not be a true reflection on reality because of the restrictions which were imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many office workers were allowed to work from home and therefore did not need to drive their vehicles on the daily commute. This alone showed a large reduction in air pollution. Many non-essential factories and smaller production units were ordered to cease operation until further notice. This step also reduced their emissions.
Mexican cities suffer from serious environmental pollution problems, and the transportation sector is one of its main causes as it contributes over 20 per cent of GHG emissions, of which 16.2 per cent comes from the automotive subsector, mostly due to travel in motorised individual transport. This increases proportionately as the population increases.
In some metropolitan areas, such as the Valley of Mexico, emissions generated by vehicles represent up to 60 per cent of the total pollution by coarse suspended particles (PM10)., and the most serious thing is that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), each year 14,700 people die in the country due to diseases associated with air pollution. The number of private vehicles continues to increase in Mexican cities and as such, the air quality will continue to deteriorate unless new measures are introduced to curtail it.
Paradoxically, to address the problem of urban mobility, large amounts of public resources have been allocated to the construction of road infrastructure for the benefit of private car transport, which, on the contrary, has aggravated the problem and today, the daily panorama of the cities of more than one million inhabitants is road congestion, a product of the number of private vehicles where 1.2 people per unit travel on average; Millions of man-hours are lost every day, people's incomes decrease due to the increasing costs of transportation, and the levels of environmental and noise pollution that affect health dramatically increase.
Much is being said about car emissions and what pollutants they produce. The internal combustion engines that use fossil fuels for their operation are the chief cause. However, the use of these engines generates the emission of pollutants into the atmosphere. That is why more and more voices are encouraging hybrid technology to avoid the growing pollution of cars.
There are at least seven main pollutants produced through the combustion of fossil fuels. They are carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), unburned hydrocarbons (HC), compounds of lead (Pb), sulphur anhydride and solid particles.
Not all vehicles emit the different types of polluting gases in the same proportion, it will depend on the type of engine used and if they use gasoline or diesel. Gasoline vehicles emit mainly carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and lead compounds. Meanwhile, vehicles that use diesel emit solid particles in the form of soot that gives rise to black fumes, unburned hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide from the sulphur contained in the fuel.
Authorities in many cities have realised that they cannot turn their back on the problem of traffic pollution and are beginning to introduce policies to reduce air pollution levels. But in addition, when pollution reaches the highest levels, extraordinary measures are put in place with the intention of cleaning the atmosphere.
Industrial pollution is the uncontrollable degradation of the environment by unplanned industrial growth, which is directly related to the discharge into the atmosphere of polluting substances without any control of the quantity, density and chemical composition. The main cause of industrial pollution is the large-scale burning of fossil fuels such as oil, coal, gas, plus poisoned wastewater that pollutes land, rivers and lagoons.
The problem of industrial pollution affects the air, water and land. The most common causes of environmental pollution, apart from the burning of fossil fuels, is the uncontrolled overuse of fertilisers and pesticides (such as DDT in homes), the inappropriate handling and storage of organic and inorganic waste such as plastic, waste from factories, hospitals, restaurants, markets, and housing complexes, the destruction of analogue televisions and their delicate toxic components, the inappropriate storage of expired toxic drugs and the poor quality of oil refining processes, generating volatile organic compounds and chemical substances They consist of small, fine particles like smoke and gases that rise into the atmosphere.
There has been a significant increase in the amount of pollutants in the air, particularly carbon monoxide and ozone, while particles less than 10 microns, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide have decreased, thus, the main pollutants that increased their environmental concentrations are ozone and carbon monoxide, although they still do not exceed the levels considered unsatisfactory. The increase in these pollutants is due to fugitive dust emissions promoted by wind regimes (PM10) to industrialisation processes and the increase in the number of vehicles mainly, as well as the absence of mandatory vehicle verification and traffic control programs for environmental contingencies.
Due to the sharp rise in industrial activity and population growth in the state, energy requirements have increased. Its generation causes serious damage to the environment, mainly due to the production of waste from the burning of the fuels used to produce it.
Prevent pollution from its source. A large part of the polluting emissions come from transport, for this reason vehicle management programs must be updated and traffic control measures should be strengthened.
Greater accessibility to public transport and housing, which translates into development plans and land use planning that allow people to reduce their travels and thus their environmental footprint.
More investment in sustainable mobility to promote projects in favour of pedestrians and cyclists, as well as zero-emission public transport.
Ongoing prevention and information campaigns so that the population is aware of the quality of the air they breathe in their cities and the impacts this has on their health and what to do to protect themselves.
Ground level ozone is a strong irritant that can limit the airways, forcing the respiratory system to work harder to provide oxygen. It can also aggravate respiratory diseases such as emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma. It can lead to the damaging of the deep parts of the lungs, even after symptoms such as a cough or sore throat go away. It causes noise when breathing, chest pain, dry throat, headache, or nausea and decreases resistance to infection and can lead to increased fatigue.
A number of scientific studies have established a relationship between particulate matter, especially fine particles (PM2.5), and a variety of major health problems. These could include the worsening of asthma, heart and lung disease. Increased hospital admissions and visits to the doctor for breathing problems. Acute respiratory symptoms, including severe chest pain, wheezing, and worsening cough can be seen to be more acute due to this fine particulate matter. Decreased lung function that can be experienced as shortness of breath, chronic bronchitis and even premature death.
Carbon monoxide replaces oxygen in red blood cells. People with heart disease are more likely to develop chest pain when exposed to low levels of carbon monoxide. Exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide can decrease reflexes and cause confusion and drowsiness and even result in death in confined spaces (e.g. closed garage) at very high concentrations.
Sulphur dioxide gas is one of the most toxic for plant species and its effects are produced either by exposure to high concentrations for short periods or by exposure to relatively low concentrations for long periods. In the first case, average daily exposures of 130 micrograms of sulphur dioxide per cubic meter of air during the growth period can cause acute damage in the most sensitive conifers in the form of apical necrosis of red or orange colour.
Exposure to lower concentrations for longer periods causes chronic lesions: annual average concentrations of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air can affect sensitive forest species, producing a gradual yellowing of the leaf from the apical zone to the base, caused by difficulties in the chlorophyll synthesis. The leaves of plants with chronic symptoms accumulate large amounts of sulphate.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) urban air pollution increases the risk of suffering from acute respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia and chronic diseases, such as lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Air pollution affects us both short and long – term. Side effects are more likely to be encountered by children, the elderly and people suffering from pre-existing illnesses.
People who die annually from the secondary effects of urban air pollution amount to more than 1.3 million people, of these deaths, more than half occur in developed countries, since, people who reside in cities with high level of air pollution suffer more heart disease, respiratory problems, lung cancers and allergies.
It should not be forgotten that the polluted air is not only external, but also indoor smoke represents a serious health risk, biomass and coal are highly polluting, therefore, those neighbouring communities, private homes or companies. Those who use this type of fuel to warm themselves in winter are highly exposed to its secondary effects.