|Protesters gathered outside a courthouse to protest against the arrest of Simon Oosterman (second from left), Auckland's 13 Feb 2005 WNBR organizer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Also discussed here: A case for “natural experiments” in urban health (OEH Science, Aug. 25, 2013)
Today we review research that examined the direct cause and effect between reducing traffic emissions on the one hand and improvement in health on the other. Results indicate a small but significant health improvement (up to 6%) from reduced air pollutant concentrations of 10-25%.
“this study demonstrates the impact of a reduction in urban air pollution in the same community, rather than using existing concentration-response functions from observational epidemiology”
“We assessed whether a reduction in (traffic policy-related) air pollution concentrations was associated with changes in respiratory health.”
“12 locations where air pollution (PM10, PM2.5, soot, NO2 and NOx) were measured included 8 busy urban streets in five cities that would be affected by the new policies and 4 suburban locations where the policies were very unlikely to have any impact”
“Results were driven largely by one street where traffic-related air pollution showed the largest reduction. Forced expiratory volume and FVC [forced vital capacity] improved by 3% to 6% in residents of this street compared with suburban background residents.”