Mexico City - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Horrible. The elevation makes it harder on your lungs too. This was the only real negative about this post. - Jan 2024

Not great. Most of the year it is moderate to very poor. As I mentioned, people with health conditions will notice the air quality on bad days. - Jul 2023

Fine in the rainy season (June-October), soso in the winter and fairly yuck in the spring. - Apr 2021

The air quality can definitely be in the challenge, especially in the winter when there is not much rain to "clean" the air. Granted, Kabul was definitely worse, but I have heard of some folks here (children especially) who find it more challenge, particularly if they have underlying conditions such as asthma. - May 2020

Dry dirty air in some areas, and cleaner air in other areas. I def feel like my family have gotten sick much more than being here and I definitely contribute it to the air quality. - Apr 2019

We have been here for two years and only experienced a couple of "bad air" days. There are days in the moderate range but it hasn't affected us at all. I do keep an eye on it and I have been pleasantly surprised. The air is good during the rainy season. - Apr 2019

I'd day moderate to bad depending on the time of year. It does not seem as bad as India or China. We use filters throughout our apartment and still notice the impact however, not to a large degree. - Jun 2018

A lot of people complain about the air quality, but it's nowhere near as bad as China, India, or even parts of eastern Europe. I don't even notice it. - May 2017

This has been a tough year for air quality, apparently it was the worst it's been in years and years in the Spring. Many people feel it. It's really not good for small children. If you or your family have sensitivities/asthma, think twice about coming here as the air quality can be dangerously poor. It hasn't reached Delhi or Beijing levels, but Mexico City is in a bowl-shaped valley, so the bad air tends to get trapped. The air improves dramatically once it starts raining in the summer, but those spring months are tough. - Sep 2016

It's awful, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It's so bad that you're not supposed to take your kids outdoors on many days, and there are many families with small children at post who are going stir crazy. - May 2016

Air quality is sometimes very bad. As a result there have been many days when it was recommended to spend less than 15 minutes outdoors. The kids are sometimes cooped up all day at school and at home as a result. Due to serious pollution and ozone concerns, there is an "hoy no circula" (today no driving) policy. On at least one day a week, and one Saturday a month certain cars do not circulate. We had the misfortune of being assigned Fridays which means we cannot leave town for the weekend on Fridays anymore. - May 2016

Winter and spring are rough, especially this year after some driving restrictions were apparently lifted. The government is looking to address that. Nobody in my immediate family has chronic respiratory issues so we've been OK, but it's still challenging sometimes - red eyes, coughing, fatigue. - May 2016

I have heard people complain about the pollution but frankly I just don't see it. The air seems no more polluted than in the average U.S. city. Pollen allergies, yes, but pollution has not been an issue for our family. - Oct 2014

I don't know the fuss regarding air pollution. It's not that bad! It's like any big city in the U.S. - Aug 2014

Unhealthy. Or, very unhealthy. Though anyone from China would say we are weaklings. Mexico City is at 7,500 feet altitude; that already affects some people. The pollution has improved much in the last 10 years but it is still an issue. My lungs (cough) are still okay but I definitely notice clean, sea-level air! - Apr 2014

It is comparable to any big city. I think the bad time is during the months of March until early July when there is no rain. The pollen and the smog are high but not as bad like in some cities in Asia. - Mar 2014

You almost forget the air is bad until you fly back through the city and see the thick blanket of smog choking the entire landscape (and it's flat and wide - Mexicans build outwards, not upwards). So it can be kind of gross. Those with allergies may be relieved by the lack of pollen, but still suffer from all the pollution. It's not easy. The summer rainy season brings nice relief for a few months, but January and February churn out red-day after red-day. - Dec 2013

I would say that it is pretty decent for such big city. There are days and there are days, but it's OK overall. Colds tend to last longer than normal. - Jul 2013

Air pollution is bad here. We lived in the Santa Fe area, which is about another 1000 ft higher than Mexico City (approx. 7000 ft.). The air quality is better here where we lived, due to the area's much newer development. It is also like US living. - Jan 2013

Moderate to unhealthy in the winter months. The elevation combined with pollution is difficult for many visitors. - Jan 2013

Not as polluted as people say. - May 2012

Not healthy, but not nearly as bad as Delhi or Beijing either. The hilly western suburbs are especially breatheable, except for just a couple days per year. Then again, sitting in idling rush-hour traffic for a couple hours each day doesn't help the lungs nor the blood pressure. - Apr 2011

Air quality is not great, but it was worse before they instituted no-drive days (monitored via license plate numbers). Spring is tough on allergies. - Apr 2010

Very good during the rainny seaon from May-Jan, then Moderate from Feb-April. - Feb 2010

Not good, but not overwhelming. Seems to affect people differently. My daughter and I were ok, but it seemed to affect my wife more. We were in the "burbs" to the west of downtown, which seemed better. - Jan 2010

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