If you’re worried that air pollution from traffic is harming your lungs, you’re not the only one.
A commentary published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal argues that air pollution from traffic is increasingly harming the health of Canadians.
According to a press release, pollution from traffic is linked to asthma, while diesel exhaust has been shown to cause lung cancer. About 21,000 Canadians die prematurely from air pollution each year.
The study authors say that while traffic pollution is harmful, there are a few policies that can be implemented to reduce the negative health effects.
One thing they suggest is modifying current infrastructure – for example, separating walking and cycling routes from busy roads.
As a cyclist in Toronto, I couldn’t agree more. I often commute by bike, and besides being faced with the danger of getting hit, I also regularly breathe in car and truck exhaust on my commute. I often wonder whether I’m harming my health by cycling on busy, polluted routes, rather than improving it.
Some other suggestions include building schools and daycares at least 150 metres away from busy streets; encouraging alternative commuting behaviours and expanding infrastructure for electric cars.
Are you worried about pollution? Would you support the implementation of new strategies the help prevent the negative effects of traffic-related pollution?
-Katharine Watts, associate web editor