On the side of automobile pollution: Polluting kills!

Last year the French Environmental Health Security Agency ( www.afsse.fr ) showed that “from 6500 to 9500 people over the age of 30 had died in 2002 as a result of exposure to pollution by fine particles (smaller than 2,5 microns), emitted in particular by automobiles ".

Today, experts are looking into the case of children and confirm their fears about their greater vulnerability to the nuisances generated by road traffic:

- Young children and adolescents are more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution because their metabolism and physiology are still immature [3],

- being exposed to exhaust fumes (in particular from diesel vehicles) and living within 500 meters of a bus station multiplies by 12 the risk of a child dying from cancer [1],

- living near a garage or gas station could quadruple the risk of childhood leukemia [2],

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- noise has an impact on their cognitive abilities, their motivation and their level of discomfort [3],

- by reducing their physical activity, dependence on cars promotes overweight and therefore certain diseases [3],

- in the long term, the density of traffic in residential areas can have an impact by disrupting the development of autonomy and social interaction [3],

- Finally, on the psychological level, the fact of moving in an active way (walking, cycling) reduces the rates of depression, anxiety and aggressiveness [3].

The European study presented by ADEME [3] offers numerous political orientations: integrating children's health at the heart of transport policies, giving priority to reducing and controlling vehicle speeds, implementing in schools plans for sustainable management of mobility, expanding infrastructure for cyclists, establishing tax incentives, etc.

[1] Pr. Knox (University of Birmingham), 2005, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

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[2] Inserm, 2004, Occupational and Environmental Medicine journal

[3] The effects of transport on children's health: towards an integrated assessment of costs and prevention ”, ADEME éditions, January 2005, ref. 5216.

Want to know more? Download the Ademe file

Source: Resistance to Automobile Aggression

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