Even Short-Term Exposure To Traffic Can Be Harmful, Reveals Study
Children and pregnant women are extremely prone to risks of air pollution
Researchers say that current levels of pollution our extremely hazardous for our health
- Humans cannot tolerate current levels of air pollution: experts
- Their are increased chances of lower birth weight because of pollution
- Even two hours of morning walk can be dangerous for health
Just when we thought that the air pollution couldn't get any worse, a new research has shown that it could be much worse than we ever thought! The research, conducted by researchers at Duke University, states that even short-term exposure to traffic exhaust and vehicular pollution can have negative effects people. This includes people who are healthy, as well as those who are suffering from cardiorespiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or coronary disease. The research seems a bad news especially at this point of time, when north India is suffering from serious health crisis because of rising levels of pollution.
"This adds to the growing body of evidence showing the negative cardiovascular and respiratory impacts of even a short, two-hour exposure to motor traffic pollution," said Junfeng "Jim" Zhang, Professor at Duke University in North Carolina, US.
The study also shows that people who walked for around 2 hours in day in a city park which is away from direct vehicular pollution, experienced lesser arterial stiffness by more than 24% in healthy and COPD volunteers and more than 19% in heart disease patients.
People who are more exposed to pollution experienced a maximum reduction of just 4.6% in arterial stiffness, 16 per cent reduction in COPD and an 8.6% reduction in heart disease. "For many people, such as the elderly or those with chronic disease, the only exercise they very often can do is to walk," added Fan Chung, Professor at the Imperial College London.
The study, which was published in The Lancet, highlights the need for stricter air quality limits and better traffic-control measures in our cities. It also stresses on the importance of greater access to urban green spaces for people to exercise, the researchers said.
According to a UN Children's Fund (Unicef) report, the ones who are most vulnerable are children, whose brains could get permanently damaged because of the pollution. Among pregnant women, their exposure to traffic related air pollutants - especially PM2.5 - can lead to 2-6% increased odds of low birth weight and 1-3% increased odds of being small for gestational age, revealed a study published in the journal BMJ.
"Combined with evidence from other studies, our findings underscore that we can't really tolerate the levels of air pollution that we currently find on our busy streets," Chung said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)