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Smoke and air pollution


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One of my pet peeves with the area is air pollution from smoke.   Many locals do not believe in composting their green waste, they burn it.   I enjoy having my doors open all day long.   However, we are always sample sniffing the air because when the smoke comes we have to jump up and close all the doors and windows quickly.   Otherwise our house fills with nasty unhealthy air.  Every day this happens.    The Fracs ban burning but it seems the locals are always torching things.    Sometimes it is even rancid plastic smells.    I know this is Mexico, but isn't burning trash outlawed in the area?   If so has anyone had any success in reducing incineration in their neighborhood?  Can anyone point to the pertinent law?     Yeah, I know, good luck...

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"According to the World Bank, air pollution kills nearly 33,000 Mexicans every year. Nearly 20,000 of these deaths are due to outdoor air pollution, mainly in towns and cities. The remaining 13,000 are from household air pollution, caused by cooking with wood and other solid fuels. This affects mainly rural communities.

In both cities and countryside, the cause is the same: tiny particles in smoke which we breathe in and which can lead to chronic lung disease and acute respiratory infections, lung cancer, heart disease and strokes. This does not just affect Latin America, but is a global problem causing over 6 million deaths worldwide each year.

Air pollution is a real problem in Mexico, causing about one in 17 (5.9%) of all deaths in the country. It is the eighth largest cause of death, after factors such as diet, overweight, high blood pressure, alcohol and drugs, smoking and lack of exercise."

from: http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/publication/mexico-perspective-air-pollution

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My smoke issues come from San Juan Cosala, I have noticed about 4 different sources close to me.   I should mention that the smoke disappears during the rainy season.  So half the year is usually good.   Most of the time the air is fine, it's just when the people a few blocks away light up their bonfires of trash that smoke then invades our home.  It's not fires for cooking or heating, it's green waste and trash burning.  One source could be agricultural.

A few more articles on Mexico's air pollution:  

http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/archive/newsrel/science/09-08MexAir.asp

http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/breathing-the-air-like-smoking-40-cigarettes/

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We've actually had EPA "bad air" days up here in central TX from burning of the fields in Eastern MX. I lived in Riberas and I have asthma so I often scrambled to close up the house, but MX is what it is. There was a little old lady at the corner near us and almost every day she'd clean up and rake up fallen leaves etc. and make a nice little pile in the street and then burn it, we called her "Ms. Burner".

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  • 3 weeks later...

Lakeviews; It is not limited to San Juan Cosala. If you smell it or not, you are affected. The PM 2.5 pollution index is higher for Mexico, this area of Lake Chapala included, than NYC.   It is actually something that you cannot escape by closing a window.  SOB has higher concentrations of PM 2.5 and yes, the burning of garbage / fields is part of the problem.  Here is an interesting link to a map which shows levels of PM 2.5 globally.  

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3194998/How-polluted-city-Interactive-smog-map-reveals-Earth-s-toxic-locations-dirtiest-power-plants.html

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and some people cook with wood in many parts of the country..and some people have wood stobe to make ceramics on the other side of the mountain and on and on..and there those burning garbage and  thiose burning their field and fires in general.. Mexico is not a good place to live if you have problems with smoke..

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2 hours ago, bmh said:

and some people cook with wood in many parts of the country..and some people have wood stobe to make ceramics on the other side of the mountain and on and on..and there those burning garbage and  thiose burning their field and fires in general.. Mexico is not a good place to live if you have problems with smoke..

Holy smokes[pun intended]! I agree!

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The smoke was particularly bad this morning around 7:00 a.m. until about 9:00 a.m. and then the air was still not clear of the smoke but at least we could breathe.  Now this evening it seems to be getting worse again.  Is there a fire on the other side of the mountain and the smoke coming over the mountain?  Or does anyone know what is causing this much smoke ... I really don't think it is just trash burning as it is all around us.  We are in West Ajijic. 

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Seems none of the above are aware that there have been /continue to be very bad forest fires burning all over the place in Jalisco (and probably other places as well). One in Zapopan the other day caused many schools to be closed, and another was just brought under control yesterday (Thursday?) that burned over 1,200 hectares. This has been a very bad season for fires, and will continue until the rains get going in earnest.

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Does anyone know if there is a way to confirm if there is a local fire?

This must be a major fire somewhere.  The smoke is so thick, you cannot even see a source.  

This cannot be normal. Ajijic here; One photo of

the mountain behind us.  It is getting worse.

One photo of the lake (no mountains OR LAKE visible.

 

thumb_IMG_3210_1024.jpg

IMG_3209.jpg

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This is what I'm talking about! :o  This just isn't people burning their trash.  I know that there have been fires around Guadalajara but as we can see the worst is around the lake but then there is the smoke on the mountain (North) side also.  Do you think the fires around Guadalajara are causing all this here?  We have lived in West Ajijic and have not seen it this bad even when Mt. Garcia was burning right in front of us a few years back.

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It happens every year in May and there is also the sand and dust that gets in the air from the dry lake Sayula when the winds kick up.. Every year we have wind at this time, I know it because it is when all the pods from the tulipanes fall because of the wind       and that is when we get dust from Sayula.  Also there are always fires in one place or another..

The air is May gets bad ..

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4 minutes ago, bmh said:

It happens every year in May and there is also the sand and dust that gets in the air from the dry lake Sayula when the winds kick up.. Every year we have wind at this time, I know it because it is when all the pods from the tulipanes fall because of the wind       and that is when we get dust from Sayula.  Also there are always fires in one place or another..

The air is May gets bad ..

I have lived here nine years. Every May is awful with heat and smoke. Every year some people say they have never seen it this bad before. Then the rains come, everything turns lush and green, then chilly and clear for the winter. Then May comes around again and too many people have forgotten how bad it was 11 months ago. 

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I always leave in early May because I don't like the heat and having never been there at this time of the year, I shall say and I don't like the smoke. I can hardly wait for the rainy season so that this heat sissy can come home.  Sorry about all of the smoke. That is one thing we don't have up north on the West Coast approaching the Canadian border

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18 years here and every year it gets HOT and there are Fires and Smoke. Some years it is worse than others, but always seemed BAD to us. As bmh says. if you have problems with the smoke and heat pollution, maybe you should not have picked Mexico. That is why we go NOB from March until the rainy season. Nice NOB in those months for us. Whatever rings your bell. As for us, we don't waste our time complaining about something that will not change in our lifetime. YMMD

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Wait, how can this be? Second best climate in the world.

Yes as the longer term residents have posted, this happens every May. One of several reasons we prefer PV.

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1 hour ago, pappysmarket said:

Wait, how can this be? Second best climate in the world.

Yes as the longer term residents have posted, this happens every May. One of several reasons we prefer PV.

It didn't say "perfect climate" though, did it? 

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In the US west, there are always forest fires in the dry summer and the smoke issues abound. Same is true here, both forest fires and intentional burns. Only 10-20 more days!

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One of the locals told me this morning that the smoke is coming from a large fire near Tequilla that has been burning for several weeks.

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