Mexico City authorities extended an air pollution alert through Thursday, May 16, due to high levels on the Air Quality Index (AQI) from PM2.5 particles. Residents are being asked to stay indoors on Thursday and all primary and middle school classes have been canceled, along with some universities, including the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the National Polytechnic Institute. Sporting events scheduled for May 16 have also been postponed or moved to other locations. Driving restrictions between 05:00 and 22:00 (local time) will also remain in place. Further information can be found the city's website.
Mexico City’s fire department has attributed the high levels of air pollution to the dozens of nearby wildfires ongoing around the city. According to environmental officials, the AQI from PM2.5 hit 158 on Tuesday, which is above the WHO health standard of 25. AQI is measured by PM2.5 and PM10 indices, which measure particulate levels of 2.5 or 10 micrometers in diameter. Exposure to high levels of PM2.5 fine particulate matter can lead to various health issues, such as eye and skin irritation and headaches and may aggravate cardiac and respiratory conditions.
Individuals in Mexico are advised to abide by instructions issued by the authorities (e.g. driving restrictions), expect busier-than-normal conditions on public transit, and limit strenuous outdoor activity during periods of elevated pollution levels due to health concerns, particularly children and those with chronic respiratory illnesses.
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