The Mexico City metropolitan area activated the first air pollution alert of the year, implementing traffic restrictions and recommendations against outdoor activity.
The Environmental Commission of the Megalopolis (CAMe) said the situation was due to weak southwesterly winds in the center of the country, which had caused pollutants to concentrate in the Mexico City valley.
“The combination of atmospheric stability, typical of the high-pressure system and solar radiation that will be present during the day, will favor the stagnation of pollutants and the formation of ozone, causing air quality ranging from Bad to Very Bad,” the CAMe said in a statement.
On Thursday, the Ajusco Medio monitoring station in Tlalpan, to the south of the city, recorded maximum ozone concentrations of 155 parts per billion (ppb). Levels under 70ppb are considered optimal for health, while levels over 100ppb are harmful.
In response, the CAMe activated phase 1 of its environmental contingency plan on Thursday afternoon and renewed the measures on Friday morning.
Under this plan, private cars with certain license plates will not be allowed to circulate in the city throughout Friday. This is in addition to the vehicles already barred from driving that day under Mexico City’s long-running “Hoy No Circula” (no-drive-days) air quality control program.
The CAMe also recommends the Mexico City public take the following precautions to protect their health:
- Avoid all civic, cultural and recreational activities between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. including physical exercise.
- Avoid smoking indoors or using air fresheners, aerosols, waterproof paints or solvent products.
- Public and private institutions should suspend or postpone any activities organized outdoors.
- Institutions should facilitate remote work and other online activities wherever possible, to reduce transport emissions.
The CAMe advises citizens to stay informed about the situation and any updates to the measures. A new bulletin will be issued at 8 p.m. on Friday.
With reports from Infobae