Pollution in Buenos Aires

by Jessica Byrd

Buenos Aires, Argentina has had increasing smog issues due to the pollution from unregulated vehicles and emissions from power stations.

The city’s pollution levels are not as high in the summer and fall months because of strong winds because of the city’s location on a flat plain next to the La Plata River system.

However, in the winter people are at a much higher risk of getting respiratory infections because of the high amounts of pollution that remain in the area.

“The pollution here is very bad,” said Buenos Aires resident, Celia Garcia, in an email. “It feels like it gets worse every year because of the extra traffic every year.”

The increase in pollution has lead many citizens to protest over the health risks posed by the poor air quality. In response, the government set up air quality monitoring stations in the two places with the worst air pollution concentrations.

“The hospitals here have carbon monoxide readers that the nurses use to read peoples’ poison levels,” said Uki Goni, an author and resident of Buenos Aires.

Another attributing factor to pollution being worse in the winter is during the coldest days of the year the thermal power plants burn a gas and oil mixture.

In 2008 Eagle Coating, an insulation company, was hired to coat the pipes at the thermal plant in order to diminish pollution.

The project was a success and the company has since been hired for a second insulating and surface corrosion plan. According to www.eaglecoatings.net, the combination of these two plans should significantly cut down on pollution from the thermal power plant.

One of the reasons vehicle pollution is so high is because there is no regulation requiring catalytic converters in cars.

In 2006 tests by Scielo, a Latin American applied research company determined that inhalation of the city’s air during the winter months can actually be detrimental residents’ and visitors’ health.

Through these efforts the Argentine government aims to reduce pollution within the province and improve public health.


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