Breathing the air of Mexico City was the equivalent of smoking 40 cigarettes a day on the 212 days last year when air quality was bad, reporters were told this week at an air quality workshop.
The executive secretary of the Environmental Commission of the Megalopolis (Came) also declared that not one citizen in the entire megalopolis, population 29.7 million, breathes good quality air.
Martín Gutiérrez Lacayo said it was a matter of national security because so many people — more than 9,000 — die every year as a result of bad air.
Epidemiological vigilance efforts tallied 890,133 cases of illness related to air pollution such as respiratory infections, asthma and conjunctivitis in the Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Mexico.
There were 844,156 cases of acute respiratory infections, 29,855 of conjunctivitis — up 86% from 2015 — and 7,237 cases of asthma.
Cases of pneumonia and bronchopneumonia were up 56%.
The national epidemiological vigilance system, SUAVE for short, has registered ill effects among pregnant women, who have given birth to children with asthma and low birth weight due to air quality issues, Gutiérrez said.
He also noted that the city of Tula in Hidalgo was a source of concern because its residents “are exposed to a high level of poisons.”