BBC News: "Car fumes 'raise heart attack risk for six-hour window'" Prof Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, which co-funded the study, said: "This large-scale study shows conclusively that your risk of having a heart attack goes up temporarily, for around six hours, after breathing in higher levels of vehicle exhaust."
"Wake up to the most dangerous air pollution: Fine particulate matter kills thousands in N.Y.C., L.A." Co-authored by STEP's Wig Zamore "Fine particulate matter is especially insidious because it is virtually invisible, odorless and tasteless. All of us are exposed, but few are aware of it. Despite the substantial impact on our health, it is not well-known to the public compared with many environmental exposures that pose far smaller health risks, such as electromagnetic fields from cell phones or the hazardous chemicals at waste sites. In terms of health risks and number of people affected, particulate matter should rank in importance with other public health concerns such as smoking and secondhand smoke exposure and obesity trends."
Somerville Journal: "Somerville receives federal grant to study air pollution near I-93 homes" "STEP is very enthusiastic to be a partner for this study," said STEP President Ellin Reisner. "For the past year, we have worked as a community partner with Tufts University studying UFP exposure of residents in East Somerville living near I-93. This study provides our community with a critically important opportunity to identify ways to effectively reduce indoor UFP exposure which can have serious cardiovascular health consequences."
Los Angeles Times: "Study finds traffic pollution can speed hardening of arteries" People living within 328 feet of an L.A. freeway were found to have twice the average progression of atherosclerosis - thickening of artery walls that can lead to heart disease and stroke.
New York Times: "Report Links Vehicle Exhaust to Health Problems" Exhaust from cars and trucks exacerbates asthma in children and may cause new cases as well as other respiratory illnesses and heart problems resulting in deaths, an independent institute that focuses on vehicle-related air pollution has concluded.
"On The Streets Of Somerville, An RV On A Mission" Air pollution is a big problem in the city. In fact, Somerville has some of the highest rates of lung cancer and heart attack deaths in the state, and some researchers think that's partly due to poor air quality caused by highways.
Somerville News: "Comprehensive air quality testing for one year begins soon" The Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership, a group of concerned Somervillians, has partnered with Tufts University to devise and implement a study of air quality in neighborhoods just off major highways in Somerville. It is thought that the added pollution from passing cars negatively affects the residents' cardiovascular health.
Do "ultrafine particles" from combustion engines harm our health, especially for people living close to highways? Early research is already suggesting the answer is yes. STEP is proud to be participating in a local study of this issue, run by the Tufts Community Research Center. The CAFEH (Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health) study, among the first of its kind in the country, will measure ultrafine pollutants and collect and map heart disease data from residents - in Somerville and in Chinatown. Keep an eye on the CAFEH website. Boston Globe: "Road hazard? Tufts researchers study health risks highways may pose in neighborhoods" "Since we see associations with asthma and cardiovascular disease with people living near highways, you have to ask what's causing that," said Doug Brugge, director of the Tufts Community…
On April 2, Wig Zamore made a presentation to the EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee on transportation-related air pollution. The slides provide specific data on local communities and existing studies of the relationship between highway pollutants and health problems. Download the study (PDF or PowerPoint).
The following presentations were given at the recent Conference of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology and the International Society of Exposure Analysis (ISEE ISEA).
“Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Vehicle Exhaust Emission Gradients Near Highways in Somerville, Massachusetts”
“Traffic-Related Air Pollution in a Densely Populated Urban Area”
“Community Oriented Reuse and Refinement of Available Transportation, Air Quality and Public Health Data to Shape Regional Equity Discussions and Healthier Development Outcomes in Somerville, Massachusetts” (not yet available for download)