/ Effect of Traffic Fumes On Health

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Tommy81 - on 22 May 2012
I've started to leave my car at home more and more, and get to work via a 7 mile bike ride or 5.5 mile run. I do enjoy it, but a lot of this is through a city centre, along busy commuter filled roads. Do I need to worry about the effect the traffic fumes has on my health? There are the odd times when I almost feel like I've got my mouth round an exhaust. Any links to research would be appreciated. I am worried about the long-term effects it could have on my health.
P.S. Also have I made the right affect/effect distinction? Always seem to get it wrong, so please correct me.
Nutkey on 22 May 2012
In reply to Tommy81:
By and large, effect is a noun, and affect is a verb. So you've got it right.
Timmd on 22 May 2012
In reply to Tommy81:

I'm not sure if it's been decided yet if it's worse to cycle than not if it's through busy and stop start traffic. The deep breathing could be bad in making cyclists inhale the particulates very deeply, and it's thought they mak enter the blood stream and get lodged in the brain IIRC, something like that.

The best thing might be to find quieter side roads and not be in too much of a hurry?

Pedestrians walking along side cars inhale less fumes than the drivers, but exercise which makes you breath deeply might be doing more harm than is being avoided, it's not been figured out yet I think.

jhw - on 22 May 2012
I recall reading about this in the Guardian a while ago. I think the key thing was that it doesn't take much distance to get away from the worst of it. Just give buses a wide berth, of say 5m (jump on the curb if you have to! it's your lungs!). Not a complete solution but will help.

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