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4691Breathing toxic air

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  • T. J. Binkley
    May 5, 2002
      >I believe there is a study somewhere on carfree.com which contradicts the
      >health issue quite clearly indicating that people in cars actually suffer
      >more from car fumes.

      Yes. It has been demonstrated that exhaust fumes get concentrated in a
      car's interior---therefore a pedestrian standing outside the car may be
      breathing in less toxic air. Not so sure about a vigorously breathing
      cyclist or jogger though...

      >I believe the hypothesis is that because you are
      >breathing deeper and more vigorously the crud does not settle in your lungs.

      ...actually breathing deeper and more vigorously DOES cause more of the
      crud to irritate your lungs. This was demonstrated by recent studies
      linking increased asthma incidence in urban children, and even higher
      incidence in urban children who participate in lots of outdoor sports.

      >Anyone have the citation?

      Data on air quality inside cars:
      Gee I.L. and Raper D.W., 'Commuter exposure to respirable particles inside
      buses and by bicycle', The Science of the Total Environment, 235, 403-405
      Kingham S., Meaton J., Sheard A. and Lawrenson O., 'Assessment of exposure to
      traffic-related fumes during the journey to work', Transpn Res.-D, vol 3 no
      4, 271-274 (1998)
      Lawryk, N. J. and Weisel, C. P., 'Concentrations of volatile organic
      compounds in
      passenger compartments of automobiles', Environmental Science Technology
      30, 810-816 (1996)
      Van Wijnen, J. H., Verhoeff, A. P., Jans, H. W. A. and van Bruggen, M.,
      'The exposure of cyclists, car drivers and pedestrians to traffic-related
      air pollutants', International Archives of
      Environmental Health 67, 187-193 (1995)
      Dr Adrian Croucher
      Department of Engineering Science
      University of Auckland
      New Zealand
      tel 64-9-373-7599 ext 4611

      A. Exclusive Official study shows that air pollution causes the
      disease affecting 5m Britons
      By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
      Pollution from car exhausts causes asthma, dramatic new official research
      A massive study, backed by the Californian and US governments, has
      demonstrated for the first time that ozone, the main component of smog, can
      cause healthy children to develop the life-threatening condition. Top
      British scientists believe it has provided the "smoking gun" that finally
      links pollution to the disease.
      The conclusion - which vindicates an Independent on Sunday campaign that
      began more than eight years ago - is likely to have an explosive effect on
      transport and health policy in Britain, which suffers from the highest
      incidence of asthma in Europe.
      It comes as the Government's own chief scientific adviser, Professor David
      King, calls for a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel, a measure that
      would drastically reduce the pollutants that cause asthma and global
      warming. He says announcing a ban to take effect some years in the future
      would force companies to develop "green" cars running on electricity and
      More than one in every seven children in the country now suffers from
      asthma - six times as many as 25 years ago - and, in all, five million
      Britons have the disease: 18,000 new cases are diagnosed each week, and
      1,500 people die from it every year.
      Yet the Government has done little to tackle the pollution now being
      identified as one of the causes of the epidemic. Ozone is excluded from
      national measures being implemented by local authorities to tackle
      contaminated air.
      Scientists have long agreed that ozone exacerbates the disease in those who
      have it, and many have suspected that it causes it in the first place. But
      in the absence of proof there has been little political interest in
      tackling it. The new study breaks the impasse.
      "We have known for some time that smog can trigger attacks in asthmatics,"
      says Alan C Lloyd, California's top air pollution official. "This study
      has shown that ozone can cause asthma as well."
      Professor Rob McConnell of the University of Southern California, the
      leading author of the study, and his colleagues made the connection by
      mounting the first study of its kind into the disease in children. They
      identified 3,535 children aged nine and over, with no history of asthma,
      living in both smoggy and relatively unpolluted towns and suburbs, and
      recorded what happen to them over the next five years.
      Uniquely, they took particular notice of how much sport the children
      played. Sporty children are exposed to more air pollution, both because
      they spend more time outdoors and because vigorous exercise makes them
      breathe 17 times faster, and draws air deeper into the lungs.
      They found that children who played three or more sports in smoggy areas
      were more than three times more likely to get asthma than equally active
      children in relatively unpolluted ones. Less sporty children in polluted
      towns and suburbs were also more likely to get the disease, though not to
      the same extent.
      Top British experts last week hailed the study as a breakthrough. "It is
      very, very important - the first paper I know of that suggests that
      pollution may cause asthma," said Dr John Ayres, professor of respiratory
      medicine at the University of Birmingham.
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