Mexico City’s health-based air quality index, developed by Dr. Kevin Cromar and his Air Quality Program at the Marron Institute, is now live. Cromar and his team validated the index values, scaled from 1-10+, based on respiratory morbidity in children and adults living in the metropolitan area. The city communicates the index values to the public based on same day and forecasted air pollution concentrations. The current campaign is focused on people who are susceptible to respiratory illness and encourages residents of the city "know their number" — the value at which outdoor air pollution may result in their individual discomfort or respiratory symptoms.
Two research projects approved by the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (INER) in Mexico are underway to study the impacts of the health-based air quality index on patient care in Mexico City. Cromar has also helped facilitate an ongoing coordination between Mexico City’s Secretariat of the Environment (SEDEMA) and the officials at Health Canada who are responsible for Canada’s Air Quality Health Index (AQHI). SEDEMA and Health Canada are working to improve physician training in ways that help patients effectively use the daily values from the city’s new health-based air quality index.