Lima the Latin American capital with worst air pollution

May 19th, 2010

According to the Institute of Peruvian Studies, Lima suffers from the worst air pollution among the capitals of Latin American countries… this despite drastic improvements. The results of the study carried out show Lima’s air consists of a toxic mix of nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and other particles at levels more lethal than Mexico City, Santiago de Chile, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro as well as other cities on other continents.

Some 80% of the emissions come from the city’s vehicles. Diesel fuel is used by 60% of these and contains the highest level of sulphur and other dangerous particles of all available fuels. While cleaner diesel exists in the rest of the world, Peru is stuck with the world’s most contaminated. A separate investigation published by El Comercio some time ago showed that oil companies producing the fuel in Peru refuse to meet leisurely deadlines set by the government to upgrade production facilities and install what is now old technology to produce a cleaner safer fuel… this despite the government allowing otherwise strictly controlled fuel prices to rise to provide revenue to undertake the changes. These failures only resulted in new longer deadlines being set by politicians and authorities often said to especially “accommodating” to big oil companies.

As of yet Lima has no form of organised transport system to replace toxic vehicles, with the electric train system decades late and the new north-south bus system due to be unveiled two months ago with no date set to begin operating. This is despite the fact that many decades ago Lima was an organised first-world city with clean, safe and organised transport systems.

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