Traffic pollution shortens life expectancy

Traffic Pollution Increases Risk of Heart Disease and Heart Attack

According to a German study presented at the EuroPRevent 2013 congress in Rome, long-term exposure to fine particle matter air pollution is associated with atherosclerosis, or thickening of the arteries.1 According to the featured article:2
“The study was based on data from the German Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study, a population-based cohort… with a mean age of 60 years…
Results showed that in the 4,238 subjects included in the study, small particulate matter and proximity to major roads were both associated with an increasing level of aortic calcification—for every increase in particle volume up to 2.4 micrometers the degree of calcification increased by 20.7 percent and for every 100 meter proximity to heavy traffic by 10 percent.”
Previous research has also identified traffic noise as a risk factor, and this latest study confirms that both small particulate matter and sound pollution are independently associated with subclinical atherosclerosis. According to Dr. Hagen Kälsch, who presented the research:
“These two major types of traffic emissions help explain the observed associations between living close to high traffic and subclinical atherosclerosis… The considerable size of the associations underscores the importance of long-term exposure to air pollution and road traffic noise as risk factors for atherosclerosis.”
Interestingly, both noise and fine particle matter are believed to increase your cardiovascular disease risk through similar biologic pathways, namely by causing an imbalance in your autonomic nervous system (ANS). Your ANS is intricately involved in regulating biological functions such as blood pressure, blood sugar levels, clotting and viscosity.
Another study by a French research team found that all the main traffic pollutants, with the exception of ozone, were strongly associated with an increased risk for heart attack. These pollutants include:
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
  • Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
  • Particulate matter

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2 Responses to “Traffic pollution shortens life expectancy”

  1. Road_Hog says:

    TBH, I thought that this would be pretty well known to your average Joe Public.

    I used to be a despatch rider in London in the mid ’80s. During the summer I would have my visor up to let in cool air. I’d come home with panda eyes from the dirt and grime.

    I remember reading an article (years ago) where a journalist was covering an autopsy. The journalist upon see the lungs, commented that they must have been a heavy smoker. To which the pathologist said, no, that’s what people’s lungs look like who have lived in cities or large towns with a lot of traffic.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Time for some more taxes then?..or even better fill them (empty) expensive purpose made countrywide cycle lanes with the proles while the roads are repaired and kept for the Bentley classes. A-la Agenda 21.

    These facts dont ring true, as the generations who lived through the most polluting times 40’s 50’s 60’s 70’s have grown to be very long lived, it will be interesting to see if the cosseted generations since will live as long with the deliberate pollution via chemtrails.

    Just like the nonsense about smoking causing cancer, the generations that had cigarettes pushed on them by goverment in the trenches of WW1 and canteens of WW2 lived long lives, cancer rates have never be higher and smoking has been virtually eradicated.

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