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The city has a long-standing policy that restricts the number of cars on the road when air-quality indicators hit certain levels. (Photo: Brett Gundlock/Bloomberg) The city has a long-standing policy that restricts the number of cars on the road when air-quality indicators hit certain levels. (Photo: Brett Gundlock/Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) — Mexico City’s air quality sharply worsened this week, prompting warnings for residents to stay indoors, while cyclists and pedestrians covered their faces with surgical masks and scarves in a bid to protect their lungs.

The Mexican capital, which ranks among the world’s largest cities, has long been infamous for pollution — much of it generated by the city’s legendary traffic. The situation is being exacerbated by high temperatures and a lack of rain, which has sparked multiple forest fires around the city’s valley.

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