Air Pollution Cuenca Ecuador

Posted on December 24, 2012 • Filed under: Ecuador, Enviromental Issues, Latin America Health, TRAVEL, Weather/Climate

After spending a few weeks observing traffic congestion and frequently walking through huge clouds of black bus exhaust throughout Cuenca, it was clear to me that air pollution was a problem. However, after reading a few articles related to air pollution that I found in the local newspaper, El Mercurio, I discovered that air pollution had only been acknowledged as a problem in Cuenca since 2007. This was shocking, but explained why almost no one at any of the Universities in Cuenca specialized in or studied air pollution. I was able to contact one young man, Esteban Balarezo, from the University of Azuay to interview. Mr. Balarezo was one of the only people in Cuenca who currently studies air pollution. Mr. Balarezo explained that 85% of air pollution in Cuenca is caused by vehicle emissions and the other 15% is caused by industrial emissions. In addition, he said that the highest concentrations of carbon dioxide and particulate matter pollution are located throughout the historic center of the city because the streets are too narrow to accommodate heavy bus and vehicle congestion. Furthermore, the center of the city is also full of street vendors and pedestrians who are therefore exposed, daily, to high levels of vehicular pollutants that are harmful to their health. He also stated that the citizens of Cuenca are not aware that their private vehicles produce pollution because they do not produce black clouds of exhaust like the city buses do. Read Article

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