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Fireworks add to Mexico City pollution levels; contingency measures triggered

Pollutants dispersed during the night and measures were lifted Wednesday morning

Fireworks and bonfires lit during New Year’s celebrations elevated the concentration of pollutants and triggered environmental contingency measures in the northeastern part of the Valley of México metropolitan area.

The Environmental Commission of the Megalopolis (Came) detected a higher than usual concentration of pollutants early yesterday morning. Conditions worsened during the day and by early evening contingency measures were activated.

The affected zone included the Mexico City borough of Gustavo A. Madero and the México state municipalities of Coacalco, Chicoloapan, Chimalhuacán, Ecatepec, Ixtapaluca, La Paz, Nezahualcóyotl and Tecámac.

Authorities recommended citizens abstain from carrying out activities outdoors and remain indoors as much as possible.

Special traffic operations were put in place to speed up traffic as much as possible in the area, and construction activities were restricted.

However, the pollutants dispersed overnight and the contingency was suspended, Came announced at 10:00am today.

Mexico City Environment Secretary Sergio Zirath Hernández Villaseñor explained that an atmospheric inversion and a high pressure system combined with the high pollutant content in the air to cause the environmental contingency.

Similar contingency measures were put into effect in the same area last week after fireworks were used at Christmas.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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