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Mexico

Poor Understanding of Pollution Widespread, Poll Finds

A new poll shows that most residents of Mexico City think that industry is the primary cause of air pollution, while in reality automobiles are more to blame

A woman wears a protective mask as she walks on a street in Mexico City
2 years ago
A man wears a protective mask as he walks on a street in Mexico City, March 15, 2016. Mexico City's government ordered traffic restrictions on Tuesday and recommended people stay indoors due to serious air pollution, issuing its second-highest alert warning for ozone levels for the first time in 13 years. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A man wears a protective mask as he walks on a street in Mexico City, March 15, 2016. Mexico City’s government ordered traffic restrictions on Tuesday and recommended people stay indoors due to serious air pollution, issuing its second-highest alert warning for ozone levels for the first time in 13 years. Photo: Reuters/Edgard Garrido

Even though automobiles are the principal source of air contamination, most people think that industry is more to blame for polluting the atmosphere. The prevalence of this belief is demonstrated by a poll taken by the Environment Secretariat of Mexico City and published on their website.

The participants were asked, “what is the primary source of air pollution?” Of the 1683 participants, 54.5 percent, or 917 people, answered that industry is the main source of air pollution, while 33.6 percent, or 566 people, thought it was motor vehicles. Another 161 people, 9.6 percent of the sample, blamed man-made disasters, and only 2.3 percent, 39 people, blamed forest fires.

The poll was administered between Nov. 20, 2009 and March 15 of this year.

The website aire.df.gob.mx, which offers information about the levels of polluting particulate matter from monitoring stations, states that automobiles are the main source of contaminants, followed by industry and homes.

Although they do not say to what extent automobiles are a source of contamination, specialists say that automobiles generate more than 80 percent of polluting particulate matter.
The Valley of Mexico Metropolitan Area, which includes the 16 boroughs of Mexico City, the highest levels of ozone contamination of any metropolitan area in Mexico, according to the Fourth Almanac of Air Quality Tendencies in 20 Mexican Cities.

THE NEWS

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