Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Traffic-related air pollution substantial public health concern

Date:
October 21, 2013
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
Traffic-related air pollution is increasingly shown to have negative health effects according to a growing body of epidemiologic evidence and is a substantial public health concern in Canada.

Mounting evidence indicates a causal effect between exposure to air pollution from traffic and the development of asthma in children and adults. Diesel exhaust causes lung cancer.
Credit: remik44992 / Fotolia

Traffic-related air pollution is increasingly shown to have negative health effects according to a growing body of epidemiologic evidence and is a substantial public health concern in Canada, argues a commentary published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Mounting evidence indicates a causal effect between exposure to air pollution from traffic and the development of asthma in children and adults. Diesel exhaust causes lung cancer.

Despite generally good air quality in Canadian cities, approximately 21,000 people die prematurely from air pollution each year in Canada, about 9-fold more than the number killed in traffic accidents. About 10 million people -- 32% of the population of Canada -- live within 500 m of highways or 100 m from major urban roads, areas in which they are exposed to elevated levels of traffic-related air pollution.

"This high prevalence of exposure, in addition to evidence of associated health problems, suggests that traffic-related air pollution is a substantial public health concern in Canada," writes Michael Brauer, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, BC, with coauthors.

The authors highlight four overlapping strategies with short- and long-term options to help mitigate the effects of traffic-related air pollution:

  • Reducing vehicle emissions: introducing programs to remove or retrofit high-emission vehicles; reducing traffic congestion; expanding infrastructure for electric cars
  • Modifying current infrastructure: limiting heavy truck traffic to specific routes; separating active commuting zones (e.g. cycle and walking routes) from busy roads
  • Better land-use planning and traffic management: locating buildings such as schools, daycares and retirement homes at least 150 m away from busy streets
  • Encouraging behavioural change: creating policies to reduce traffic congestion in specific areas and encouraging alternative commuting behaviours.

The authors cite growing evidence that indicates that these types of interventions are successful. For example, the introduction of a fee for drivers to enter a "congestion charge zone" in London, UK, reduced traffic volume and congestion that resulted in "an estimated gain of 183 years of life per 100,000 residents within the zone over a 10-year period."

"Although these interventions alone benefit health, combining strategies can result in more cost-effective policies and greater improvements to population health," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael Brauer, Conor Reynolds, and Perry Hystad. Traffic-related air pollution and health in Canada. CMAJ, October 2013

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Traffic-related air pollution substantial public health concern." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021131002.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2013, October 21). Traffic-related air pollution substantial public health concern. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021131002.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Traffic-related air pollution substantial public health concern." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021131002.htm (accessed July 27, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Reuters - US Online Video (July 26, 2014) A giant wall of dust slowly moves north over the Phoenix area after a summer monsoon thunderstorm. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath

Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath

AP (July 25, 2014) Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe toured the Cherrystone Family Camping and RV Resort on the Chesapeake Bay today, a day after it was hit by a tornado. The storm claimed two lives and injured dozens of others. (July 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins