The category of
respiratory problems includes such illnesses as pneumonia, which in
2002 was the fifth leading cause of mortality throughout the state, as well as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma, which were all
among the top twenty leading causes of death. Asthma primarily
affects children, and in 2003, it was identified as the eighth
leading cause of death amongst the infant population.
incidence of respiratory illness in the state is likely due to high
levels of environmental pollution, especially from airborne sources
such as dust laced with chemicals used in agricultural production,
particulate matter from unpaved roads, and power plant emissions.
The Comisión Federal de Electricidad (Federal Electricity
Commission-CFE) has an agreement with SEMARNAT to control emissions
from its power plants,
but there is insufficient enforcement, which has led to lax
oversight of La Paz and Puerto San Carlos facilities as well as
postponed infrastructure upgrades. A recent investment of USD$18
million for pollution control equipment in Punta Prieta in La Paz
should improve the air pollution nearby.
 Gob. Del Estado de
BCS, Compendio Estadístico 2001-2002, Op.
Cit., p. 368.
 U.S. EPA website:
“PM-10 Fact Sheet”. Particulate Matter-10 micrometers
and Particulate Matter-5 micrometers. Particles less
than 10 micrometers in diameter incluyes both fine and
coarse dust particles. These particles pose the greatest
health concern because they can pass through the nose
and throat and get into the lungs.
 Ortiz, Fernando.
Personal Communication, January 6, 2006.