“Hoy No Circula” or No Circulation Program ordered in Mexico City is effective in reducing pollution peaks, such as those recorded in recent weeks, but is insufficient to address the long-term environmental problems of the metropolis, says Carlos Dora, coordinator of the Department of Public Health and Environment of the World Health Organization.

"When there is too much pollution, acute and feasible measures are taken, they are aimed to reduce pollution peaks and their impact on health in emergency situations," says Carlos Dora in an interview with El Universal.

"The most important thing is to reduce long-term exposure, which is the cause of most deaths from air pollution and we need more measures for that," he added.

The Brazilian expert argues that in order to reduce pollution from vehicular traffic is necessary to promote clean transport systems, such as Metro, Metrobus, trolleybus and tram.

He also recommends eliminating lead and sulfur from gasoline, using fiscal instruments to promote clean energy, discourage the use of polluting fuels and reinforce the control measures of emissions testing centers.

"It's not enough to have efficient emissions testing centers and clean engines, but also clean fuels," he said.

He considers that it's necessary to restore the urban space for pedestrians as in Stockholm, where the first frame of the city is closed to vehicular traffic; the measure drastically reduced pollution and diseases.

Regarding taxis and minibuses, he says that the city needs clean public transport driven by gas or electricity, as in some European cities.

In addition, he recommends addressing other pollution sources such as the mishandling of waste and the use of firewood and charcoal in the kitchen; for example, he says that in some cities in India, coal generates 25% of urban pollution.

The expert says that pollution is a major cause of death among the world population. The WHO estimated that 85,700 people died in 2014 in Mexico due to pollution.

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