An environmental emergency was declared in the capital Mexico City on Tuesday, May 14, due to smoke from nearby wildfires. According to Mexico City’s fire department, 23 forest fires were ongoing as of Sunday, May 12, causing high levels of air pollution in the capital. City officials warned residents on Tuesday to avoid outdoor activity and for vulnerable groups, including infants, the elderly, and the sick, to stay at home. Driving restrictions based on license plates will be in place on Wednesday, May 15, between 05:00 and 22:00 (local time). Further information can be found the city’s website.
According to environmental officials, the Air Quality Index (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, 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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