The largest scientific study of its kind to date has revealed growing confidence in the links between several adverse health effects and traffic-related air pollution.
The review was led by a panel of 13 experts who assessed more than 350 scientific reports on road pollution since 1980.
The expert panel found a high level of confidence in the existence of strong links between traffic-related air pollution and premature deaths from cardiovascular disease, as well as lung cancer mortality, the onset asthma in children and adults and acute lower respiratory infections in children.
“Traffic pollution clearly remains a significant public health issue across the globe,” said Hanna Boogaard, HEI Consulting’s senior scientist and member of the review panel. “This report provides evidence to inform the actions of policy makers aimed at mitigating the consequences of traffic pollution.”
Traffic emissions affect air quality at local, neighborhood, urban and regional scales. The committee found that studies focusing on exposure at the local level (less than one kilometer) and neighborhood level (one to five kilometres) offered the greatest potential for determining the impacts of this type of air pollution. air.
The expert group found that traffic-related air pollution will continue to have significant health effects around the world, especially in urban settings and areas near busy roads.
Traffic-related air pollution is a complex mixture of gases and particles resulting from the use of heavy and light vehicles, buses, passenger cars and motorcycles.
Motor vehicles emit a variety of pollutants including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), elemental carbon (EC) and particulate matter (PM2.5).
Vehicles also produce off-tail emissions resulting from re-suspension of road dust, abrasion of the road surface, and brake and tire wear which results in metal emissions heavy such as iron and copper. To date, almost all road pollution regulations target tailpipe emissions.
Photo by Alexander Popov