World

Nude Bike Riders Protest Air Quality in Mexico

  • Activists wearing body paint that illustrates their organs, some damaged from air pollution, stand in front of a poster that reads in Spanish "We get sick" as they protest pollution created by cars in Mexico City, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013.  Activists are protesting the health effects of the cityís ongoing pollution problem caused by cars and encouraging residents to use bicycles instead. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

    Activists wearing body paint that illustrates their organs, some damaged from air pollution, stand in front of a poster that reads in Spanish "We get sick" as they protest pollution created by cars in Mexico City, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. Activists are protesting the health effects of the cityís ongoing pollution problem caused by cars and encouraging residents to use bicycles instead. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)  (AP2013)

  • An activist wearing body paint that illustrates her organs damaged from air pollution stands in front of a poster that reads in Spanish "We get sick" during a protest in Mexico City, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013.  Activists are protesting the health effects of the cityâs ongoing pollution problem caused by cars and encouraging residents to use bicycles instead of cars. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

    An activist wearing body paint that illustrates her organs damaged from air pollution stands in front of a poster that reads in Spanish "We get sick" during a protest in Mexico City, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. Activists are protesting the health effects of the cityâs ongoing pollution problem caused by cars and encouraging residents to use bicycles instead of cars. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)  (AP2013)

How do you get an entire city interested in the threats of air pollution? Ride around on bikes topless, of course.

Two men and two women rode topless down Mexico City's main boulevard Wednesday to protest the health effects of the city's ongoing pollution problem and encourage residents to use bicycles instead of cars.

The cyclists had painted their bodies with the outlines of diseased lungs and other internal organs they say are affected by car-caused pollution.

The protest was sponsored by children's and bicycle rights groups.

The city has made progress since the mid-1990s, when air quality was unacceptable almost every day of the year.

Now the city has unacceptable amounts of ozone or other contaminants on about half the days. While the amounts of ozone, carbon monoxide and other pollutants such as lead have declined dramatically, the city hasn't made much headway against suspended particles since the mid-2000s.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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