Pollution from oil refineries and power stations in the Mexican state of Veracruz is eroding ancient carvings at a ruined city which predates the Aztec civilisation.

The carvings in El Tajin city,which depict the lives of the Totonac people, have survived more or less intact for hundreds of years but according to Humberto Bravo, an air quality specialist from UNAM University, they could be gone in a decade as air pollution and acid rain eat away the limestone.

Mr Bravo said that if things continued as they are, sulfates, nitrates and chlorine from the industrial processes taking place nearby would destroy the remains of the city in 100 years at the most, but damage was being done now and detail was being lost from the carvings with every year that past.

Sam Bond

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