The wait times at the ports of entries are not letting up any time soon, and it’s not just making people late. All those vehicles are causing harm to our quality and to those who cross often.
“When I’m walking back, I could smell the fumes from the cars and it just makes me feel very dizzy and sick,” Michelle Cruces, who crosses the bridge weekly told KTSM.
Many in the borderland have no choice but to commute back and forth from Juarez. While doing so, they face exposure to air pollution that continues to rise from those longer wait times at the ports of entries.
“It’s important to know that if you’re crossing the bridge every day, if you’re always driving or commuting to work, or you live at these neighborhoods that are close to the bridges, the exposure may be greater,” UTEP Research Associate Juan Aguilera shared.
Aguilera said a study conducted at measuring stations in El Paso showed there’s currently three times as much pollutants affecting our air quality, “Counting the amount of vehicles present per hour, they’re noticing this increase trancing the amount of pollutants increasing at the bridge.”
Another report from the El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization, tracked the number of cars and trucks from March to April. The report showed a substantial increase of fumes calculated by tons per every day of the week. Inhaling these fumes put some at higher risks of seeing health issues.
“There are going to be people that have a stronger immune system that will react differently to air pollution,” Aguilera explained, “However younger children, the elderly, people with asthma, pregnant women, might feel the affects on their bodies more as there continues to be an increased risk of air pollutants at this community and bridges.”
These issues can also affect your health in the long run.
“Particles that come from these vehicles will go into your respiratory system through your lungs, but also finer particles are going to go into your bloodstream and affect your overall health,” Aguilera warned.
There are ways to reduce emission and help improve air quality. The public is urged to consider car pooling, as well as add and upkeep vegetation.