Lima - 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?

Supposedly the city has bad rap for air quality, which it does maybe compared to the DC area, but it's nothing compared to India, Los Angeles, Mexico City, etc. You can look it up online. - Jul 2022

Terrible, especially in winter. See above posts. I always say I would live forever in Lima if it weren't for the pollution. - Oct 2018

Air quality is poor in Lima. The smell of exhaust fumes is heavy in the air. Lima might be a difficult post for those with respiratory illnesses. - Mar 2018

BAD. I have friends who bike to work and they've shown me what their masks look like after a couple weeks. Terrible exhaust from crappy cars on the roads. - Apr 2017

According to the WHO, Lima has the worst air quality of major cities in South America which I find hard to believe. The majority of the pollution is most likely centered in areas of the city that the majority of expats never see. Within close range to the ocean, air quality is fair. Houses require almost constant dusting and your car will get covered in a film rather quickly, but it doesn't seem too bad. - Jul 2016

In the winter the air quality can be poor, especially away from the coast where there is more traffic and more cars. It irritated my lungs sometimes and I developed a cough at first. - Sep 2015

Air quality in the city is moderate. Because Lima is overpopulated, there are too many vehicles on the roads. And because it does not rain here, the air quality is not great. Lima grew too quickly in the 1980s and 90s when campesinos fled from the provinces to escape terrorism, and the city's infrastructure was unable to keep up. Moreover, due to being on a seismic zone, there is no subway system and there are very few tunnels, meaning very few freeways in the city. So traffic is really awful here in Lima---which adds to the moderate (to poor) air quality. The good news is that the days of the two terrorist organizations crippling the population are totally over. Although Sendero Luminoso still operates in the jungle areas beyond Cusco, it has been wiped out of the major cities and tourist locations in Peru, and its numbers are now probably under 200 total. - Sep 2015

Greater Lima is a city of nearly 10 million people (nearly a third of the entire population of the country), so naturally the air quality suffers some. But we lived right on the coast in Miraflores with near constant on shore ocean breezes, so we didn't find it to be too bad. - May 2015

I'm honestly not really sure what makes air quality good or bad, but according to adults who seem to notice these things, it's not great. - Apr 2015

Lima air quality is awful. - Sep 2014

Unhealthy. It never rains in Lima, ever. The dust and soot from pollution blacken everything. This is probably the dirtiest place we've ever lived because there is nothing to wash the dirt away. - Apr 2014

Lima is quite congested and polluted. I would say the air quality is moderate or unhealthy. - Mar 2014

Better by the water, but poor as you head toward the Embassy. Lots of cars emitting lots of pollution. - Aug 2013

In the winter months (roughly May-September), air quality is poor - it's very humid and chilly, and the pollution and dust just never seem to clear up. People seem to develop allergies and/or asthma easily here. - Jul 2013

Lima suffers from a moderate amount of pollution. Despite that, many people do run outside. But I find the fumes too much and prefer to run indoors. - Jul 2013

According to the World Meteorological Organization, Lima has the most polluted air in all of South America - I never got carsick before I went to Lima. - Jun 2013

I am unsure whether or not it stems directly from the pollution. What I can say is that every morning right after waking up, I get a fit of about 5-7 hearty sneezes that serves as an "alarm-clock" of sorts for my wife. They say it comes from the humidity off of the ocean, but I think the poor quality of the air has something to do with it. Asthma sufferers will not enjoy this post. - Jan 2012

Not so good. Lima is a very dry climate and there is a lot of dust in the air, that and a lot of construction dust, smoke from vehicles and industry. Near the coast where you get a breeze, it is better. - Jan 2012

Moderate - Aug 2011

Unhealthy. Lima is cloudy and foggy for at least 8-9 months of the year. The city is growing at an amazing pace, and there are many cars on the roads. Many of the cars, vans and buses are old and belch horrible fumes. Since it never rains here, nothing clears the air and all the pollution just hovers over the city. Many people have breathing problems and develop allergies. - Jul 2010

Air qulaity in Lima is poor. High humidity may give problems to folks with mold allergies. - Jun 2010

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